Monday, January 31, 2022

Discarded shrapnel from the heartless war on love - #HistoricalRomance #MeijiEra #Japan #Giveaway

Talk of Tokyo cover



1897 Tokyo is no different than anywhere else in the world: men are exploiting women. Specifically, Western men are exploiting Japanese women, and Suki Malveaux holds no punches in her condemnation of their behavior in her weekly column in the Tokyo Daily News.

Suki knows firsthand when Western men arrive at Tokyo Bay there’s only one outcome for Japanese women: a child and new mother left behind as nothing more than discarded shrapnel from the heartless war on love.

Griffith Spenser is her latest target. He’s been seen with Natsu Watanabe, one of Tokyo’s esteemed war widows. Under full anonymity of the moniker “The Tokyo Tattler,” Suki makes sure Griffith knows exactly why his behavior with Natsu won’t be tolerated.

Away from her Japanese mask as a columnist, Suki never intended to meet the cad. When he seeks her out to hire as a tutor for his niece and nephew, she’s faced with seeing him day in and day out without him ever knowing who she really is.

Caught in her struggle for anonymity so she can keep battling for women’s rights, Suki’s about to learn the full impact of her words on the people behind the story, especially on Griff.


Tokyo 1897

Foreign Quarter of Tsukiji

Fluttering her eyelashes in a coquettish manner, which had much in common with trying to dislodge a flying insect, Suki faced the man who held her fate in the palm of his rather well-shaped hands. “I was admiring your fine home.”

I quite like it myself.”

Was it constructed after the quake of ’94?”

We commissioned its construction when we arrived in ’95. I’m assured by its builders it could withstand another earthquake of that intensity. Japanese-style homes fare better than brick and stone.”

Mother Nature has given us many opportunities to rebuild.”

Mother Nature?” Spenser furrowed his brow. “I thought it was the giant catfish residing under Japan flipping its tail that caused all these earthquakes.” His tone was teasing, while the observation revealed Spenser as the type of foreigner who bothered learning about traditional culture.

You know your Japanese folklore,” Suki replied.

I like to be prepared for all the dragons and ghosts I’m certain to encounter,” Spenser said with a smile that brought out creases along his soft brown eyes. “I should introduce myself, although introductions are probably unnecessary. I’m Griffith Spenser, arrived from England, resident of Tsukiji for almost two years.”

Suki mentally added to the introduction: Spenser counted minor members of the British aristocracy among his family, although he himself had no chance of inheriting a title; his company was the most highly regarded foreign-owned trading firm in Tokyo; he’d arrived with a new bride who left him a year later; and he now graced the bed of war widow Natsu Watanabe. Also, he played lawn tennis.

The Tokyo Tattler’s job was to know these facts about Tsukiji’s most illustrious residents, and Suki needed to continue doing this job, which was why she couldn’t let Spenser’s allure compromise her defenses. The man had asked her to his home without explanation. Although she’d like to imagine he’d summoned her to discuss the modern significance of Japanese mythology, she was a realist. Spenser had a score to settle with the Tokyo Tattler, and all this pleasant banter about earthquakes was merely diversion.

About the Author

Heather Hallman writes witty, sensual, contest-winning romances set in Meiji-era Japan (1868-1912). She is the author of the Tokyo Whispers series that includes Scandals of Tokyo and Talk of Tokyo.

She is fluent in Japanese language, history, and culture, and earned a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology based on fieldwork research in Japan. She lives in Tokyo with her professor husband and two young daughters. In her free time, she can be found translating ancient Japanese poetry and observing the passing of seasons while sipping green tea. Just kidding, she has no free time. But she does watch something that makes her laugh while she does the dishes.

Perennial obsessions include the weather forecast (she checks three different apps at least three times a day, as no single app can be trusted), Baltimore Ravens football (hometown obsession), and making smoothies that taste like candy bars.

Feel free to chat her up about any of her obsessions, or, even better, about historical Japan—any era is fine, she loves them all. She also enjoys exchanging book recommendations, discussions about the craft of romance writing, and stories about life in present-day Tokyo.

Visit her website to learn more:






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Heather Hallman will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Sunday, January 30, 2022

A new release for my birthday! #EarthGoddess #ParanormalRomance #ClimateChange #Giveaway

Birthday Balloons

Image by Artturi Mäntysaari from Pixabay

So... today’s the last day of January. It also happens to be my birthday, and I am celebrating by bringing out the final book of my quartet of re-releases, scheduled for Paranormal January.

Here’s a bit about Hot Spell, available today from Amazon, Smashwords, BN and many other fine ebook retailers.

If this sounds like something you’d like, leave me a comment. I’ll give away a free copy of the book, in your choice of formats, to one randomly selected commenter!

Hot Spell: Elemental Passions Book 1

The flames of passion are more than metaphor

Comfortable and at home in nature, Sylvie doesn't mind being alone in the wilderness. But she's not the only being haunting the glades and the trails.

As the city swelters in the grip of an unseasonable heat wave, Sylvie escapes to the pine-shrouded mountains to the east. A handsome stranger interrupts her plans for a midnight dip in the stream near her camp site. Hidden in the shadows, she can't help watching as he pleasures himself – or indeed, surreptitiously joining him in auto-eroticism. By the time she recovers from her climax, however, he has vanished.

Aidan finds her the next day as she sun bathes nude in a high meadow. Though his desire burns as fiercely as hers, he refuses to make love to her. The muscular, sun-bronzed fire warden is cursed with a power he fears will destroy her if they surrender to their passion. Can earthy, voluptuous Sylvie refrain from tempting him? Or will she risk being literally consumed by love?


How long have you been a fire warden?” she asked, trying to distract them both.

Eight years. Every summer since I turned eighteen.” He stared out over the valley. “I’ve stopped six forest fires, too.”

I thought that fires were part of the natural cycle, necessary for the forest ecology,” she began. Then she registered the dry pain in his voice and understood. This was his way of making amends, of expiating his teenaged crime. Her chest ached with sympathy.

In the winter,” she continued softly, “I’ll bet you serve as a volunteer fireman, up in some hill town.”

Aidan gave her a sharp look. “Shingle Springs,” he admitted “I was born only a dozen miles from there. It’s the closest thing I have to a home.” He glanced up at the sky. “Let’s get going. It feels like summer but the sun will disappear behind the mountains in an hour or two.”

He didn’t speak again until they reached an evergreen-fringed clearing near the peak. The fire survey station perched on metal struts three or four stories high—well above the tallest trees.

Here we are. Home sweet home.” He led the way up the steel ladder. Sylvie’s sore thighs protested as she climbed to the top of the tower, reminding her not only of their energetic hike but also of the frantic sex that had preceded it.

Aidan threw open the door to a spacious one-room hut glassed in on all four sides. A work table stretched along one wall, littered with books, papers and electronic equipment. Two cots stood against the opposite wall. At right angles to both, Sylvie saw what seemed to be a kitchen area with a Coleman stove and a dorm-style refrigerator. There was one walled-off corner that had to be a bathroom. A table and several folding chairs occupied the center of the room.

Sylvie sank into one of the chairs, acutely aware of her aching muscles and sore feet.

Go ahead and take your shoes off. I usually go barefoot around here.” Aidan bustled around, opening several of the windows. A balmy, forest-scented breeze freshened the previously closed-up space. Meanwhile, Sylvie unlaced and kicked off her boots, then peeled off her socks. The varnished planks of the floor felt smooth and cool under her soles. She filled her lungs with the mountain air.

Ah! Wonderful! I guess I’m not used to that much walking.”

Aidan seated himself across the table. “You live in the city?”

Yes, unfortunately. And I spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week in my office in front of a computer.”

I wouldn’t have pegged you for a city girl.” He leant forwards, fingers clasped together on the table, his eyes brimming with liquid gold. “You seem so at home in your skin.”

The setting sun slanted in, glinting on his spun-gold locks. For a moment it looked as though he had a halo. All Sylvie’s good intentions evaporated as a tidal wave of lust surged through her.

* * * 

Get your copy today! It’s only 99 cents, like all the other books from Paranormal January... until February 14th.

Or leave me a comment – you could win this book!

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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Charity Sunday: Changing the face of tech – #CharitySunday #GirlsWhoCode #FemaleEngineers

Charity Sunday banner

Welcome to the first Charity Sunday of the new year! In case you’re new to this blog, Charity Sunday is a meme I created almost five years ago (wow!), to provide a way for me to regularly support different causes that are important to me – while hopefully engaging some new readers. On the final Sunday of each month, I highlight a charitable or non-profit organization here at Beyond Romance, then invite readers to comment. For every comment I receive, I make a donation to my chosen charity.

Over the last year or two, the event has expanded into a blog hop, with other authors posting about their own favorite charities. If you’re a blogger, you’re more than welcome to join us. There’s no commitment. You choose whether or not to participate each month, what organization you want to support, and how much of a donation to offer. For more information, please email me. (Address in is the blog sidebar.)

Anyway, today I’m throwing the spotlight on Girls Who Code, an organization devoted to educating girls and young women in computer technology, encouraging them to pursue careers in tech, and changing public policy to make the computer industry more equitable and inclusive. 



Girls Who Code runs coding camps and clubs, with a special focus on minority and disadvantaged girls; develops and disseminates “code at home” projects to excite young women about computer programming; works with legislators to include computing in K-12 curricula; and sponsors research to document the gender gap in computing as well as to measure the impact of their programs.

Given the incredibly urgent problems facing humanity – disasters, war, famine, refugees, government repression, religious persecution - you might wonder why I’m choosing what might seem like a “First World” cause. With the rise of “Artificial Intelligence” - machine learning, robotics, algorithmic decision making and so on - computing is now on the front lines of nearly every social problem we face. Research has shown that including women in tech teams leads to a stronger focus on real world problem solving and human needs. Computing has tremendous power, either to improve the human condition or to exacerbate its ills. Getting more females into the tech sector can directly affect this balance.

Of course, as a woman in tech myself, I have a personal interest in helping my younger sisters prepare for a career that is both rewarding and critically important.

Anyway, for every comment I receive on this post, I will donate two dollars to Girls Who Code.

Meanwhile, as usual on Charity Sunday, I have an excerpt for you. This is from my very first novel Raw Silk, originally published in 1999. My heroine Kate is a software engineer who comes to Bangkok to take a job at a digital media company. She is working on a project to create artificial three-dimensional displays from two-dimensional video. This is a contract from Gregory Marshall, the charismatic owner of a club in the red light district who has awakened Kate’s submissive instincts.

Raw Silk is full of arousing sex scenes. But this snippet is pure technology. The technical ideas are my own; who knows, they might even work!


Kate had not heard anything from Gregory since his email the previous Friday, and for now she hoped he’d keep his silence. Their sexual encounter had strengthened her determination to demonstrate her professional expertise. She could, perhaps, accept the apparent fact that debasing herself before him, offering herself as his sex toy to manipulate and control, excited her beyond belief. But she could only bear his mockery, she felt, if she earned his respect for her intelligence and technical skill.

It was a quiet week, and she worked hard. By Thursday afternoon, she actually had a prototype. She asked Ruengroj to help her set up the equipment in the conference room—a digital video projector, linked to her computer, and a cylindrical screen, constructed of finely-woven mosquito netting stretched tightly around a frame.

The basic idea was simple. Humans see the world as solid and three-dimensional, but, in fact, depth, the third dimension, is an illusion constructed by the brain. Various types of information available in a scene allow the visual system to infer the relationships between objects, or parts of a single object. One of the most powerful cues is parallax, the differences in the motion of objects that are nearer versus farther away from the viewer.

Kate had written software to artificially generate parallax cues. She could take a pre-existing or computer-animated video sequence and selectively change the motion of specific parts of the images, so that an observer would see the objects in the video clip as having depth. The free-standing screen would enhance the illusion by making it seem as though the motion was occurring in positive space, rather than in the space ‘behind’ a screen.

The algorithms that identified sections of the image to be modified, and the mathematics involved in computing the correct motion, were definitely complex. The principle, however, was straightforward.

Roj finished attaching all the cables. The screen sat on the conference room table. Katherine signaled him to dim the lights then turned on the projector, and adjusted the focus.

A moving image took shape on the table—a female figure, a dancer, undulating in time to unheard music. Her body was gilded, from head to toe. Her hair was gold-plastered against her head. Her eyes were closed. Her long fingernails trailed threads of gold through the air as she raised her arms in a gesture of entreaty.

Kate had chosen to animate the credits sequence from an old James Bond movie, one of her favorites. She could hear the theme song playing in her head as she and Roj watched the dancer.

The effect was surprisingly convincing. Occasionally she noticed some discontinuity in the movement, a slight jerkiness or an unnaturally swift change. Overall, though, the dancer appeared to be real, solid, her curvaceous figure inviting the eye. One could almost reach out to touch those rounded limbs, to cup those swelling breasts.

The room suddenly went dark, as the video clip ended. “Whew!” said RuengRoj, whistling his appreciation. “That was amazing! She seemed so real!”

She realized the imperfections she had detected were probably not apparent to her co-worker.

Thanks!” she said. “It still needs a lot of work. Plus there are many problems remaining to be tackled, such as how to deal with different points of view in the same image. Also, Mr. Marshall wants to somehow synchronize the images with the mood of the music.” She couldn’t help noticing the way her heart beat faster when she spoke his name. “That will open up a whole new set of issues.”

Still, this is a great start,” Roj continued, his enthusiasm unabated. “Mr. Edward will be excited that you’ve done so much in such a short time.”

Of course Kate was pleased with his praise. Back in her office, she set to work looking for the logic or calculation errors that had produced the few flaws she’d noticed. Deep in concentration, she jumped when Harrison knocked on her door frame.

Katherine! Ruengroj tells me that you already have a working prototype of your projective 3-D technology. I’m leaving town tonight, but I’d really like a demonstration early next week. Would that be okay?”

Of course, Edward. Have a good trip.”

I will,” said her boss heartily. Then he lowered his voice. “By the way, don’t say anything to Marshall about this yet. I want to make sure that we get everything that we deserve, before we turn this over to him.”

Oh, this is nowhere near ready to be delivered to the customer.” Kate avoided speaking Gregory’s name. “As I told Ruengroj, there are many issues and problems that I’ve just begun to look at.”

Even so, keep it quiet for now.”

I will,” she replied, a bit irritated. He should be cautioning Roj to be more circumspect, not her.


You can buy the updated and expanded version of Raw Silk (2016) here:

Kinky Literature

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Meanwhile, please do leave a comment. Every one means more support for ambitious and talented young women. And I hope you will visit the other authors participating in today’s event, to learn about their charities as well.

Friday, January 28, 2022

New from Lizzy Gayle! -- #Djinn #Paranormal #Romance

The Bleeding Heart cover

About the Book

Taj knows his revolving door of lovers won’t erase the past or make it easier to cope with the responsibilities of his new role as a sibling, but it does keep his mind occupied. That is until his sister Leela’s boyfriend shows up in a panic. With Leela missing and a Djinn killer on the loose, Taj dives headfirst into trying to find both his missing sister, and the murderer.

When his quest introduces him to another Djinni named Brolach, new to his human form, Taj ends up wondering if it might be worth the risk to try dating his own kind. His last relationship with a Djinni didn’t end well, but it has been almost two hundred years.

When danger traps he and his loved ones, Taj finds himself thrust into a position he never asked for, that of a leader. Can he overcome the demons of his past in order to save everyone’s future and find his happily ever after? Or are he and his family doomed to forever be victims?



WANT MORE?? Now available for review and preorder...


Paradise Atlantis: The underwater, high-tech vacation destination where utopia awaits.

Not for Sam. Not only is she deathly afraid of being submerged under millions of tons of ocean water, she's stuck for an entire month with the people she blames for her family falling apart. Even with the unexpected attention of two sexy men, including her longtime celebrity infatuation, Sam is sure the trip will be a nightmare.

She’s both right and wrong. A type of pressure sickness she was unprepared for hits Sam hard, causing both lowered inhibitions and blackouts. When she gives in to her desires, a passionate romance blossoms.

Unfortunately, even this steamy new relationship can’t salvage the trip when a saboteur uses the AI to commit murder – murder timed perfectly with Sam's mysterious blackouts. Now Sam must clear her conscience by finding the truth. But is she prepared for what she’ll find? Because either she’s a killer or she’s setting herself up to be next on the growing list of victims.

Lizzy Gayle loves paranormal so much, she lives it. She is both an author and a psychic. Between mothering her three kids, attempting to understand her rocket scientist husband, and consistently attempting to declutter her home (that she is convinced is a secret portal to a clutter-creating dimension), she does her best to use her creative gifts and share them with you. Lizzy is a people person  so if you contact her, it will make her very happy and she will likely answer while possibly including pictures of her bunnies and/or bird. She has also been known to write Young Adult under the name Lisa Gail Green. Anything else you’d like to know about her you may find out by asking because it never hurts to ask. 

Wait. Lizzy is a practicing psychic?!

Why, yes. And if you'd like to know more or see what services she offers she'd love if you visited her page on Facebook or simply message her.

I Like YA books where can I find Lizzy's YA?

Lizzy writes YA under the name Lisa Gail Green and you can find out more by searching Amazon for the name Lisa Gail Green or visiting her other website at

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Just call me Eagle – #Suspense #EroticRomance #Giveaway @DesireeHolt

Absolute Zero cover


Sex, murder, cover-up…a lethal combination.

Fourteen days until Sierra Hunt’s brother is sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and the cover-up is so outrageous it’s almost unbelievable. Sierra had no way of knowing that the man with whom she had an explosive one-night stand would hold the answer to her desperate need.

Vic ‘Eagle’ Bodine wanted more than the unexpected one night with the woman who rocked his world. He was shocked when she turned out to be Galaxy’s newest client, and that they’d be joined at the hip as they worked to save her brother from an unjust imprisonment.

Galaxy will need to live up to its motto of ‘We are your last resort’ for this one, the mother of all cover-ups. But Eagle is going to make damned sure that he gets it done…and at the same time convince Sierra that they belong together.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, and mentions of off-page murder and murder.


If someone had explained to Sierra Hunt what absolute zero was, she would have told them that it was exactly where she was. At a total standstill. And her pounding head wasn’t helping the situation. She pried her eyes open and looked around. Where was she, anyway? Her hotel room? No, not hers, but one like it. Then whose? She scrunched her forehead trying to remember exactly where she was and how she’d gotten here. Was this a repeat of Jeremy’s situation?


Jeremy. Her brother. Then it all came rushing back at her.

The trip. The last chance. Then the disappointment and depression. The depressing phone call to her brother. The man in the lobby.

They had spent a fortune on attorney fees trying to arrange an appeal, but all for nothing. Every attempt after the first one had been denied and now every option that they’d had was exhausted. Every attorney she had consulted—if quick brushoffs could be called consulting—explained they had no additional grounds. The three other attorneys she’d tried previously had all told her they saw nothing to indicate there were grounds for yet another appeal. And the governor’s office would not take her call.

Jeremy was already showing the physical effects of being in prison, and she’d begun to fear for his mental health as well.

Cheryl Andrews, Jeremy’s wonderful girlfriend, somehow continued to believe in him but then she’d became ill with a bad case of the flu and had died in days. Jeremy still had not recovered from the loss.

Sierra had flown here to New Orleans to meet with a high-profile attorney who she’d been told was a champion of difficult cases like this. He was her last chance, the man she was told who could find a loophole. He’d refused to make an appointment, but she figured if she just showed up, he’d at least have to give her fifteen minutes. She’d waited all day in his office, only to have him tell her she should accept the fact her brother was guilty and prepare herself for the fact he would die in prison. She left his office depressed and discouraged. She had one option left, but she couldn’t exercise it until the morning, damn it.

On top of that, for the past few weeks she’d had the uncomfortable feeling someone was watching her. Following her. She’d been doing weird things to see if that was true, but if it was, whoever was on her tail was very good at it.

Exhausted, she’d been paying no attention to anything as she made her way through the hotel lobby. Hot tea, she told herself. That was what she needed to soothe her nerves. The drinks wagon was still open in the lobby, and the scent of the various brews tantalized her senses. She chose peach, a flavor that always helped her relax.

Then, as she turned away to head toward the elevators, she bumped smack into a solid wall of masculinity, spilling her hot tea all over the shirt of the man standing in front of her.

Oh, my god! I am so sorry.”

She looked up…and up. The first thing she noticed was he could model for a photo of warriors. He was tall, lean, muscular, with a shadow of a beard lining his jaw. His eyes were a piercing blue, and the whole image was accented by a stripe of white hair that ran backward from his forehead. For a moment she was frozen in place, mesmerized. Then reality jabbed her. She grabbed napkins from the drinks wagon and tried to blot his shirt dry, but he stayed her hand.

I’ll handle it. Don’t worry.” But he was pulling the damp material away from his chest and removing the hot liquid from his skin.

His voice was rich and deep and sent shivers along her spine. A sharply defined jawline and angular cheekbones were highlighted by electric blue eyes and thick lashes. His lips, curved into a hint of a smile, looked as if they were usually set in a grim line. She wondered what had created that change.

No, no, I am so sorry. I—”

Flustered, she made things worse because she was still holding the now half-empty cup of tea and more splashed out of it. When she turned to toss the cup into the trash, her hand bumped the metal edge of the counter. She dropped her purse which then fell open, scattering her things on the floor.

If she could have melted into space, she would have done it. Instead, she crouched down, doing her best to gather items and stuff them back into her purse. And of course, the stranger insisted on helping her.

She grabbed her key card from her purse, and in the process scattered some of the contents again. God. If only the floor would just open up and swallow her.

You going to your room? Come on, I’ll make sure you get there.”

Go with a strange man up to her room? Was she crazy? Absolutely not!

No, thanks, I—”

You’re bleeding.” The stranger took her hand and lifted it. “You must have hit it pretty hard on the counter.”

She glanced down, shocked to see blood welling from a long cut and running down over her fingers. Holy god. What next?

The stranger grabbed more napkins and pressed them against the cut.

You can’t let something like that go. It needs attention. If you’d rather, I can take you to a walk-in clinic—?”

No. Please.” That was all she needed. “I just want to get to my room.”

Do you have bandages? Antiseptic? If not, you could be courting an infection. I can fix it, at least temporarily.”

She was so rattled she didn’t even have the brains to refuse. Instead, she let him lead her across the lobby to the elevators. Inside the car, he punched the button for the tenth floor.

I’m on nine,” she protested.

But the first aid’s on the tenth, in my room.”

He was taking her to his room? What if he…?

Don’t worry.” He grinned at her. “I’m not planning to attack you. That is, unless you want me to. Ah, here we are.”

Still in a daze, she followed him down the hall and into his hotel room. She had to admit he was very efficient in cleaning and bandaging her cut.

Are you a doctor?”

He shook his head. “Former SEAL. We learn how to field dress wounds. Okay, there you are.” He frowned. “You’re still trembling. What can I get for you?”

Can you just hold me for a minute? I’ve had the day from hell and this hasn’t helped.”

For a moment he looked as if he were about to refuse. But then, just as she was about to get up, he put his arm around her and pulled her against him.

We should at least introduce ourselves. I’m…”

She held up her hand. “No names, okay? I… It’s better this way.” She tried a smile. “More mysterious.”

Okay. Just call me Eagle, then.” His mouth curved into a hint of a very sexy grin. “That was my call sign in the SEALs.”

She figured the streak in his hair had something to do with that.

When she didn’t respond, he shrugged. “Okay. No problem.”

And still he held her.


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About the Author

Desiree Holt -

A multi-published, award winning, Amazon and USA Today best-selling author, Desiree Holt has produced more than 200 titles and won many awards. She has received an EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and many others including Author After Dark’s Author of the Year. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail. She lives in Florida with her cats who insist they help her write her books, and is addicted to football.

You can follow Desiree on Facebook and Twitter and check out her Blog.

Author Links






Enter for the chance to win a $50.00 First for Romance Gift Card! Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.


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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

To snare an heiress ... #HistoricalRomance #PennilessNobleman #Giveaway @DarcyBurke

Indecent cover


If Bennet St. James, the Viscount Glastonbury, doesn’t find a bride with a sizable dowry, he’ll be in the poorhouse along with his interminable number of female relatives—all of whom he loves but are a drain on the negative fortune his father left when he died of a broken pocketbook. Desperate, he hatches a scheme to snare an heiress only to be foiled by a most vexing and alluring—and unfortunately equally destitute—paid companion.

Lady’s companion Prudence Lancaster is single-minded about finding her mother and filling in the missing pieces of her life. But a villainous viscount interrupts her plans, and his surprising charm and understanding tempts her in the most indecent ways. Soon, she’s dreaming of the future instead of wallowing in the past.

But when Bennet shares a dark secret, her hopes are dashed. For he won’t break the promise he made to his family, even if it means losing the greatest love he’s ever known.


What will you do after you return me to London? Do you plan to stay for the rest of the Season?”

If you’re wondering whether I’ll slink back to Somerset with my tail between my legs, the answer is no. I do need to go home to check on things, but hopefully, I’ll find an heiress first.” He lifted a shoulder. “Someone will want to marry a viscount. At least I have a title to sell.”

She frowned gently, her lush lips pulling down. Lush? He ought not characterize her in such a way. She was not for him to lust after. Still, it was difficult to ignore her beauty.

You can’t marry for love, then,” she said matter-of-factly.

He gave a humorless laugh. “I haven’t the luxury of that, I’m afraid. I will hope to marry someone I like and admire.”

I can understand. Love is a luxury, isn’t it?”

Why do you say that?” He found her to be rather enigmatic. She was very stiff, save her bouts of pique, which he’d thoroughly earned.

Love brings obligations and…messiness,” she said offhandedly. “I’m alone now, and it’s far more convenient—financially, emotionally, in all ways, really.”

He couldn’t argue that love was untidy. He had only to think of his family. They loved one another dearly, even his father, but there were plenty of other messy, complicated emotions and situations. “You’ve no desire to fall in love? To marry?”


About the Author

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Click here to Join her Reader Club.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, artist daughter, and imaginative son who will almost certainly out-write her one day (that may be tomorrow).

They’re a crazy cat family with two Bengal cats, a small, fame-seeking cat named after a fruit, an older rescue Maine Coon with attitude to spare, and a collection of neighbor cats who hang out on the deck and occasionally venture inside. You can find Darcy at a winery, in her comfy writing chair, or binge-watching TV with the family.

Her happy places are Disneyland, Labor Day weekend at the Gorge, Denmark, and anywhere in the UK—so long as her family is there too.

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Darcy Burke will be awarding an ebook copy of book 1 of the Phoenix Club series, IMPROPER, to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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