Book Release: My Enchanting Hoyden by Julie Johnstone

EnchantedBlurb: A bargain born of desperation ignites into passion as one lord’s quest to save his family leads to the discovery that he can never settle for less than love.

Forsaken, abandoned, and duped, Miss Jemma Adair has no other recourse but to request her grandfather’s help to avoid living on the streets. His asking price? She must marry a neighboring lord’s odious son. Thankfully, there is a way out of her dilemma—ensuring the rake never asks for her hand. But what is Jemma to do when her ally is an all-too handsome silver-tongued lord with a penchant for poetry that makes her question giving her heart to another man?

Philip De Vere, Lord Harthorne, wishes to marry for love, but inherited debt and family obligations force him to seek a wealthy wife. Yet experience has taught him that ladies of the ton prefer rogues to gentlemen with a poet’s soul. But when an unrepentant hoyden claims to know a thing or two about how to make a man a rake, Philip finds he cannot resist Jemma’s offer or her.

 

Excerpt: Philip barreled out of the study, down the corridor into the main hall, and brushed past the footman who was reaching to open the door for him. Philip, needing an escape from his own thoughts, flung open the door and stormed outside. He would have kept going straight to his awaiting carriage if he hadn’t crashed right into something very soft. That something let out a hearty umpf that told him right away the something was a someone. And when he looked up, he realized that someone was Jemma, teetering on the edge of the steps, her eyes wide and her arms waving frantically in the air as she tried to right herself.
For a moment, he stood stock-still, fascinated with the emotions careening across her lovely face. Determination. Fear. Frustration. Back to determination. An inspiration of words hit him: An Ode to a Tempestuous Woman.
She swayed backward, and he reached out and snagged his hand about her waist to save her. He meant only to bring her forward, but he overestimated how hard to tug and she ended up barreling into his chest, her hands grasping—no doubt in self-preservation—both his arms. The beat of her heart hammered against his chest, and the poetic words that had failed to come to him for more months than he could remember flowed through his mind as he stared down into her dazzling eyes. How had he failed to notice that gold flecked her blue-green eyes? He’d never seen the likes of her color.
“I could write a hundred poems about your eyes,” he blurted, lost in them.
Immediately, she tugged away, then moved down to the step below him and tilted her head up to look at him. She raised her hand to shield her eyes from the setting sun, or maybe to hide her eyes from him so he wouldn’t wax eloquent about them anymore. He felt like a fool. He could make a joke of it to save his pride, but he refused to do so.
The moment she realized he wasn’t jesting was clear by the flair of her nostrils and the subtle way she tried and failed to inhale a deep breath. “How boring that would be,” she finally said. She lifted her chin. “Would it go something like, She had round eyes, very oddly colored both green and blue?”
Ah. She didn’t truly see herself. Given that he barely knew her, he couldn’t decide if the revelation was surprising or shed light on her prickliness. If she saw herself as odd, maybe her sharp wit was a defense against her insecurity. The thought tightened his chest. His sister had seen herself in that same light for most of her life, and it had been hard to watch the toll it had taken.
Devil take it. He should simply leave, but he couldn’t do it. He wanted her to see herself through his eyes, so she would have a bit of confidence when having to brave the cruel ton in her debut. “I think the poem would go more like this: She had eyes of emeralds and sapphire ice, entrancing and fearsome at once. Beguiling, beseeching, bewitching in thrice…”
His heart pounded as he looked at her. He didn’t know where that had come from, but he was damned proud of it. That was his one last act as a non-rake.
She turned her face away for a moment, and when she glanced back at him, she shook her head, almost as if at herself. “You have a beautiful gift for lying.”
He frowned. “Was that your version of a compliment?”
She cocked her head and drew her eyebrows upward. “Take it as whatever you desire.”
He wanted her to realize she was lovely because soon she would realize how little it might matter without a dowry, but it appeared he had bungled it. He could feel the heat in his cheeks. Rakes didn’t blush, damn it all.
“I do not lie, Miss Adair.”
“You’d be the first man, then, Lord Harthorne.”
“Jemma!” a voice said in clear dismay from a few steps beneath her. Philip blinked in surprise at Jemma’s sister, Miss, Miss― Ah, hell. Her Christian name had completely escaped him. He could recall she was the younger sister, though, so propriety demanded he use her Christian name. Jemma had struck him dull-witted. Fine start to being a rogue, this was.
He sketched a hasty bow. “I didn’t see you standing there Miss…?” He certainly couldn’t pretend he remembered her name when he’d just told Miss Adair he didn’t lie.
“Miss Anne,” she said, offering one of her pleasant smiles.
She was a pretty thing, her pale looks currently all the fashion, but strangely not compelling to him as her flame-haired, freckle-flecked sister was. Everything about Jemma begged inspection, dissection, and quill to paper to figure out the conundrum she presented. Whereas Miss Anne appeared to be an open book. There was nothing wrong with that, but he had always liked the puzzles of life.
He cast a sideways glance at Jemma and found her studying him as if he were some foreign specimen she wasn’t sure whether to crush under her slipper or capture in a jar. “It’s a pleasure to see you again,” he said to Miss Anne.
“You’ll be seeing more of me,” the young lady gushed. “And my sister. We’re making our debut this Season.”
His gaze immediately went to Jemma’s face. He couldn’t help it. She displayed her displeasure vividly. A dark scowl marred her lovely features, and her lips pressed into a thin, white line. Clearly, she was not nearly as pleased to be making her debut and partaking in the Season as her sister was. He could relate. The prospect of countless balls filled with nonsensical chatter, false smiles, and his having to actively search for an heiress did not entice him in the least, but it was necessary.
“I wish you both happy hunting,” he said, unsure what else to say. “I’m certain we will run into one another again very soon.”
Jemma snorted, and her sister elbowed her in the side. Jemma cut her eyes to her sister before focusing on him once again. Something mischievous stirred in the depths of her eyes that matched the wicked smile suddenly lighting her face. “Is that what you are doing, Lord Harthorne? Hunting?”
“Are you?” he parried to sidestep the need to lie.
“No. I’m running.”
“Jemma,” her sister groaned.
She shrugged. “I doubt Lord Harthorne is bothered by me speaking my mind. Are you, Lord Harthorne?”
He had to smile. He rather liked her bold nature. “As long as your words don’t sting me, I am not bothered a bit. In fact, I find I’m quite intrigued.”
Her eyebrows knitted together. “My aim is not to intrigue.”
“Don’t you want a husband, Miss Adair?”
“About as much as I want the plague,” she replied cheekily.
He threw his head back and laughed, even as her sister grabbed her hand and started tugging on her. “I’m terribly sorry, Lord Harthorne. My sister is not herself tonight.”
“I’m myself,” Jemma called over her shoulder as her sister dragged her up the few steps to the front door.
As the door opened, Philip remembered the money in his coat. He’d forgotten to give it to his sister. “Miss Adair!”
Jemma swung around to face him and quirked her brows up. “Miss me already?”
By God, she was an outspoken lady. He itched to get home and create a poem worthy of her.

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-Romance Reader Girl

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Release Day: Predestined Hearts by Kelly Elliott & Kristen Mayer

 

Love has existed since the beginning of time. For Ashlin Thomas, love was an illusion that she desperately wanted to make a reality.

Returning home to Savannah, after her aunt’s death, Ashlin must deal with the harsh realities life has dealt her.

As Ashlin begins sorting through her aunt’s personal effects, she stumbles upon a journal. Not just any journal, but the words of her great great great grandmother, Sophia.

Two love stories intertwine with each other as Ashlin reads the beautiful words, written over a hundred years ago.

The intense connection Ashlin feels with Sophia begins to allow her to find herself. Never thinking love was possible for her, Ashlin now sees it is within her grasp.

But, life is never perfect. Life is never fair.

When faced with the decision that could change Ashlin’s future … will she sacrifice one love for another, or will her predestined heart lead her home?

 

 

 
 
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A light rap on the counter brought my attention to the man in front of me. He had dark-brown hair that was tousled about in disarray. His warm brown eyes melted through me. The five o’clock shadow from the stubble on his face showcased his strong jaw line. He was sinfully gorgeous and I could feel my insides turn all gooey from the sight of him in front of me.

My mouth was dry as he looked at me expectantly. In that moment, it was as if something within me altered and changed. I couldn’t explain it.

Get it together, Ashlin.

“I’m sorry. It’s been a long day. Can you repeat what you said?” My voice came out fairly normal, which I was proud of, versus the crazy energy I felt pulsating within me.

He gave a gentle look; it wasn’t cocky or knowing, but only sweet. “Is there anything I can get you?”

Smiling back, I responded, “I’ll have the beef stew and a water.”

“Good choice. Coming right up.” He rapped his knuckles on the counter as he walked off to the left.

I wasn’t paying attention to how his white shirt was rolled up to his elbows. Nope. And I wasn’t paying attention to how his khaki pants hugged him in all the right places. Nope. And I for sure wasn’t staring at him as if he would be sex on a stick. Nope.

Seriously get it together, Ashlin. My life has turned inside out and the last thing I need to be thinking about is sex.

The man turned back toward me and I looked up at the television screen that was above, hoping I wasn’t caught ogling the bartender. I need a life, seriously. Time passed and before I knew it, a steaming bowl of beef stew with a little plate of bread was set in front of me.

It smelled delicious. “Thank you.”

The bartender smiled. I glanced back to my stew as I ate.

He responded, “You’re welcome.”

Taking a bite, it was one of the most delicious stews I had ever tasted. I moaned in appreciation.

“It’s that good, eh?”

I licked my lips and felt heat creep up on my face. Not realizing I had closed my eyes, I tentatively opened them and glanced at the bartender, who was looking at me more intensely than before. “Oh, I did not mean to do that out loud.” Picking up my napkin, I dabbed the corner of my mouth. “Give my complements to the chef. It’s incredible. I’d love to get the recipe.”

He leaned on the counter. “I’ll let the chef know. I know him pretty well, and I’d say if he could get that type of reaction out of every beautiful woman who ate the stew, he’d serve it all the time versus only on special occasions.”

The bartender moved a little closer to me and I smiled at his playful face while wanting to reach out and trace that devastatingly handsome jaw line. Conspiringly, he whispered, “I’ve heard that the recipe is a family secret. You’d have to marry the chef in order to get it.”

I giggled as he winked at me. “Okay, if I get that desperate to have it, I’ll know to bring a ring and my bended knee.”

He chuckled and stood. “So, what brings you to Savannah?”

“Is this where I lay all my troubles on the line for the bartender to listen and give advice?” I teased with him as I cocked my head.

He shrugged as he mixed a drink. The bar was otherwise vacated except one person at the end who nursed a beer. “I happen to listen and give advice for free on Wednesday’s.”

My smile was wide. There was something magnetic about this man and I didn’t want our conversation to end. “Well, it’s a good thing

 

Gazing around the room, I searched for Daniel. My father and mother were busy talking to Mr. and Mrs. Stowe along with two other couples, whom I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing. A young gentleman had been talking my ear off and I was in desperate need of fresh air.

Turning to him, I asked, “Will you please excuse me? I am in need of some fresh air.”

“Shall I join you?” he asked.

I quickly shook my head. “No. No, that will not be necessary. I have a slight headache and need some time alone.”

Nodding his head, he smiled and took a step back, giving me a quick bow. Returning the polite gesture, I began toward the kitchen. One look over my shoulder showed my mother watching me intently. I’m sure she was distressed at the idea of me wandering off and being late to sit down for dinner.

Somehow managing to find my way to the back gardens, I smiled and inhaled a deep breath. All I smelled were azaleas. I walked along the cobblestone pathway that intertwined among Magnolia trees and some of the most amazing flowers I’d ever seen. My mother would be green with envy were she to lay her eyes upon this colorful garden.

“It goes on forever,” I whispered.

“One can easily get lost back here.”

I stopped the moment I heard his voice. Closing my eyes, I placed my gloved hands on my stomach to calm the butterflies. Inhaling a deep breath through my nose, I slowly blew it out as I turned to face him.

His eyes widened and he licked his lips. I raised the corner of my mouth and bowed slightly. Daniel walked up to me and smiled, causing my knees to shake. For a moment, it felt as if the earth was moving and I fought to stand upright.

He took a step closer to me as his eyes moved about my face. When they landed on my lips, I instinctively licked them. His eyes were ablaze with fire. I took a step back as he took another step forward. My breathing increased as I felt something I’d never felt before.

 

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Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her!

She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.

In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner overlooking the Texas hill country and write.

One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose, her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush, move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.

 
 
Kristin Mayer is a wife, a proud mother, and a full-time Analyst and Import Manager.
Since an early age, she has always enjoyed reading and writing. While visiting
her father one weekend, he suggested that she should take up writing again.
With family and a career, she didn’t give it a lot of thought, until a story
entered her mind and wouldn’t leave. It just kept forming and developing over a
couple of months.
 
At the beginning of 2013, she decided to sit down and write it all down, but she kept
it to herself. One sentence developed into two, and before she knew it, she had
the makings of a novel.
Kristin tries to live life to the fullest during every moment. She loves to travel and
meet new people. She holds a degree in International Business and uses it daily
in her job. Kristin now adds “author” on her list of jobs, and feels very
blessed and thankful.

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Blog Tour * Review * Giveaway: CRAZY FOR HER by Sandra Owens

CFHbanner3.jpg.jpg

Today is the official release day for CRAZY FOR HER. It is available on AMAZON.

Book Blurb: When his best friend and fellow Navy SEAL, Evan Prescott, died in his arms on the battlefield, Logan Kincaid gave his word to watch over Evan’s widow. But for two years he kept his distance…torn between honoring his solemn vow and succumbing to his secret love for his fallen comrade’s wife. But when Dani Prescott desperately reaches out to Logan for the help only he can give, he rushes to her side—determined to fight for her safety as fiercely as he fights against his own buried desire.

Someone claiming to be her husband is stalking Dani and her infant daughter, making them virtually prisoners in their remote country home. Logan’s elite military training and high-risk security expertise have outmatched more dangerous enemies. But the real challenge will be the burning temptation that threatens to overcome Logan whenever Dani is near…especially when she reveals her own hidden passion.

Crazy For HEr Cover-1My Thoughts: Crazy For Her is a fantastic book! I love a book where you can stop and say, “I did not see that coming” and Crazy For Her had quite a few moments where that happened. The twists and turns of this book will have you on the edge of your seat. You will want to make sure you have time to read it because you will not want to put it down. Logan and Dani light up the pages with their chemistry. This book has it all; sadness, heat, romance, comedy, suspense (good heavens the suspense is amazing), love, friendship and so much more. The love story is heartbreaking but at the same time beautiful. The little girl in this book just makes my heart melt and the cast of secondary characters makes this story even more fun to read and enjoy (I love a strong secondary cast). Bottom line this book is fabulous. I cannot wait to read it again and read the next books in this series.

Well done, Ms. Owens!!

Ms. Owens is giving away a SIGNED copy of CRAZY FOR HER. Click below to enter the drawing!
Giveaway

BUY LINKS: AMAZON

Connect with Sandra
Facebook | Website | Twitter | Blog |

Romance Reader Girl

Author Interview: Sandra Owens

Today, I am really excited to have Sandra Owens on my blog. She is opening up about why she writes, where she would like to travel and some of her favorite things. Thrilled is just one word that describes how happy I am that Sandy has stopped by to answer some questions. For some of you that may not know she has written two fabulous historical romances, The Letter (see my review here) and The Training of a Marquess  both can be purchased on Amazon. And when I say fabulous, I mean go to Amazon buy and read them this weekend. 🙂

RRG: What attracted you to write historical romances, especially during the Regency period?

Sandy: I would have to attribute my first book to my love of reading the genre. I’ve always loved to write, but only turned serious about it four years ago, and have since written three Regencies, two of them published. I pretty much considered my first book, Katie, Love, the Duke of Aubrey’s story, a practice book. Since publication of The Training of a Marquess and The Letter, I’ve received so many emails from readers wanting Christian and Katie’s story. I’m under contract for two contemporary romantic suspense books, but I’m working on Katie, Love as time permits.

RRG: Where do you get your ideas? One of my favorite scenes in The Letter is when Michael is writing to Diana about the cat and rabbit. Oh, I just giggled and giggled. 

Sandy: That’s one of my favorite scenes too, Lindsey. I’m a panster, so I’m never sure what direction my stories are going to take or what my hero/heroine will say or do. As I wrote The Letter, Michael’s sense of humor emerged (I was grateful for that because it helped balance the dark side of the story). After Diana left him and he sat down to write his first note to her, I really had no idea what he was about to say. I honestly believe the rabbit and cats came straight from him because I don’t think I could have ever conceived of such.

RRG: Who’s in control you or the characters?

Sandy: I’m laughing here. You have no idea how much I wish I could say I have some control over them.

RRG: If you gave one of your characters the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Sandy: “Any of you ladies in need of a cat or two? Things are getting a bit out of hand here and the furry devils are all over the place.” Michael, the Earl of Daventry, from The Letter.

RRG: As a child, what do you want to do when you grew up?

Sandy: When I was seven, my parents put me on a direct flight from Miami to my grandparents in West Palm Beach. The flight lasted twenty minutes maybe, but I was in awe of the stewardesses (remember they used to be called that?). I decided then and there I wanted to be a stewardess when I grew up. I never let go of that dream and I did achieve it after I graduated from high school.

RRG: Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?

Sandy: There’s so many places I’d like to visit, but number one on my list is Scotland.

RRG: Who is one of your favorite historical romance couples? (I know it’s hard to pick just one!)

Sandy: Oh my, I’m torn between Gabriel and Sarah in Judith James’ Broken Wing, and Christian and Maddy in Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm. Mmm. Wow, this is hard, but I guess Gabriel and Sarah by a hair.

RRG: What type of books do you like to read?

Sandy: Regencies, of course. Those are my favorites. Also, I love contemporary romances and romantic suspense. In non-romance, I’ll read anything Pat Conroy writes, and I love most of Anne Rice and Stephen King’s stories.

Sandra Owens Favorites:

Quote: Where there is love there is life.” Mahatma Gandhi

Snack: Habanero BBQ almonds

Beverage: Hot green tea and red wine

Movie: Camelot with Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave. I have the DVD and watch it every Christmas morning. I’d guess I’ve done that for the past twenty years and still cry at the end.

Time of year: Spring when everything’s fresh and new and all the flowers are blooming.

Holiday: Christmas.

Cake or pie? I’m not a big fan of either, but a chocolate cream pie would be my favorite.

 Thank you so much, Lindsey, for inviting me here today. I love your blog and these interview questions were fun to answer. 

Thank you Sandy, for taking the time to stop by to answer some questions. I am honored you read my blog. I cannot wait to read more of what you write. Happy Writing!

Readers- Below is additional information about the books Sandra Owens has written. Happy Reading!

perf5.000x8.000.indd THE LETTER is a story of a betrayal that wasn’t. Even so, it still tore two lovers apart for eleven years. Michael Jeffres, Earl of Daventry, found his betrothed, the woman who meant as much to him as the air he breathed, in bed with his cousin on the eve of their wedding.

Diana, the daughter of a marquess, remembers nothing of that night. All she knows is she was forced to marry Michael’s cousin, Leo, and then spent the next eleven years in hell.

When the two lovers are brought back together by a letter from Leo a year after his death, they must struggle through all the lies and secrets before they can find a love that far surpasses that of their youth

Training of a MarquessClaire Tremaine, the widowed Marchioness of Derebourne, wears leather breeches, trains horses and helps the damaged ones find their lost spirit.

Chastain Warren, the Earl of Kensington, Chase to his friends, isn’t pleased when he learns he’s inherited the title of Marquess of Derebourne. Having recently lost his beloved wife and unborn child, the last thing he wants is to be attracted to Derebourne’s widow, but he is. This woman who wears breeches isn’t anything like the ladies he’s waltzed with in the ballrooms of London.

It doesn’t take Claire long to realize she wants this man, and when he resists, she comes up with a plan she calls The Training of a Marquess and works her horse whispering magic on Chase

SandySandra lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. She is a 2013 Golden Heart Finalist for her contemporary romance, Crazy for Her. A few highlights of Sandra’s life she fondly recalls are jumping out of a plane, flying upside down in a stunt plane, and riding her Harley in the mountains of Southern California and along the coast of Maine. Although those events in her life were great fun, nothing compares to the joy and satisfaction she gets from writing her stories.You can connect with Sandra on Twitter @SandyOwens1 and Facebook at SandraOwens.94043. Her website is: www.sandra-owens.com

-Romance Reader Girl

How do you find your next book?

Hi Reader Friends,

How do you go about finding your next book? Do you just randomly pick a book or like me do you have a long list of To Be Read (TBR)? If you have that long list of TBR how do you add to it? Do you use reviews and ratings?

I use Good Reads and blogs to find my next book. Good Reads is helpful to organize your list of books, as well as, rate and review the books you read. To be honest, usually the best book is a recommendation by a friend. I have found many of my favorite books are recommendations from a friend.

How do you find your next book?

-Romance Reader Girl

Hello & Welcome

Hello Readers,

Welcome to Romance Reader Girl’s blog. If you haven’t guessed I am a fan of romance stories. I love romance books. There! I said it! I read all kinds of romance stories, but my favorite is Historical Romance. This blog is about celebrating the authors and books we love. I plan on posting my thoughts about books I’ve read, and encourage you to add your thoughts and opinions too. Also, I hope to have some of my favorite and new authors pop in and say, “Hello”!

Welcome! Grab a mug of coffee, glass of wine, cup of tea or a bottle of water and lets start reading and chatting about romance!

-Romance Reader Girl