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: My Seductive Innocent by Julie Johnstone

MSIBlurb: Miss Sophia Vane, a hoyden of the first order, makes an unlikely match when she weds Nathaniel Ellison, the rich and wary Duke of Scarsdale. What starts with an unexpected friendship soon blooms into a fiery passion. But a betrayal plunges Sophia into the thorny world of London Society and entangles her in a labyrinth of manipulation and jealousy that will test the strength of her marriage. Behind her husband’s sudden icy facade, Sophia believes dwells the caring, passionate man she loves. To break through the barriers and reclaim their happiness, they must do more than simply cast away their pride. They must fight for their very lives.

Excerpt:  Sophia trailed her fingers over Nathan’s strong jawline. She would reveal some of her fear in hopes that one day he would reveal some of his. “You’re like Michelangelo’s David. I’m afraid one day you will wake up and wonder who the stray puppy is that you married.”
He stood so abruptly she feared he was about to agree with her and then walk out of this room and her life. He looked down at her from his towering stance, reached behind him to tug off his shirt, and revealed a rippling abdomen and muscled chest. She stared in awe and wistfulness; his body―marred only at his shoulder by the bandage covering his healing wound―was every bit as beautiful as his face.

“I’m no statue, Sophia,” he growled as he yanked his boots off, then his pants and undergarments. She gaped at the size and power of his body that could not be denied now that he stood there without a stich of clothing.
“You are perfect,” she whispered, ashamed that she was so far from it, so very unmatched to him.

His gaze grew hard. “Expecting perfection from me will hurt us both. I like that you’re not perfect. Do you understand?”
She understood that he’d been hurt deeply and that he was trying to tell her how without saying it explicitly. “I do.”

He lowered himself over her, and something fierce glittered in his eyes. “I’ll hurt you and I’ll fail you, and then you’ll see. You won’t think me perfect. You won’t want to love me then.”
“Come to me, Nathan,” she replied, knowing arguing was futile. “Show me your imperfections.”

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Release Day: After Forever by Julie Johnstone *Giveaway*

AFter ForeverBook Blurb:
A year and a half after her husband’s tragic death, all Lady Julianna Barrows wants is to be left alone and forget that most of her heart went with him when he passed. Instead, she finds herself the subject of many a matchmaking scheme and lurid offer to ease her widowhood, as well as save her fading fortune. Desperate to avoid having to remarry, she takes on a position as a tutor, only to discover that the man she’s helping unexpectedly stirs her heart and passion.

Nash Wolverton boxed his way out of the London slums and into immense wealth, but he couldn’t care less about Society’s approval. Except he has his by-blow daughter’s future to consider. To ensure her acceptance into Society, he’ll endure anything―including procuring a
tutor to transform him into a gentleman so he can secure a suitable, boring wife.

Yet what he wants changes the moment he hires Julianna. She may be a lady, but she’s far from tedious. Bold and compassionate, she is nothing like the women of the ton. Suddenly, she’s elicited a simmering desire in him, and even a longing to love and be loved that he always thought out of his reach. Knowing what he planned to settle for can now never be enough, he vows to win her love. But as the walls she’s built begin to crumble, Julianna’s fears threaten to tear them apart and she alone must decide if protecting her heart trumps breaking Nash’s.

Click HERE for to read book excerpt.

My Thoughts: I love a story that brings two people together from different worlds. Julianna knows what love is, has loved and knows how to give love. Nash grew up without love and struggles to accept it. Julianna and Nash have a wonderful chemistry and it was a joy reading them come together. Ms. Johnstone’s writing flows beautifully on the pages and you’ll be happy you read this book. Look at the cover, it’s gorgeous!

A message from Julie Johnstone:
Good morning Romance Lovers! I’m thrilled to be here today at Romance Reader Girl to share with you my newest release, After Forever, A Whisper of Scandal Novel. First, I’d like to thank Lindsey for so
generously having me! When I conceived the idea for After Forever I planned for it to be a novella, but as I started writing Lady Julianna Barrows and Mr. Nash Wolverton’s story, I realized very quickly that their story of heartbreaking loss and redeeming love needed a much larger scale than the one I planned, thus my novella became a novel! These two characters are quite different from anything I’ve ever written and very special to me because they each in their own unique way embody how love can truly rescue a person.

I would love to hear stories about how love has rescued you! Or if you don’t want to share, simply say hi! Every commenter will be entered in the chance to win one of my ebooks. (Winner’s choice!)

I hope you enjoy the book, and please do keep in touch!
Julie Johnstone
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
juliejohnstoneauthor.com
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-Romance Reader Girl

Interview & Giveaway with Julie Johnstone

Readers, Today I have the fabulous Julie Johnstone on the blog! Her new book My Fair Duchess has been released. Please enter to win a free copy of My Fair Duchess. Please welcome Julie!

RRG: What is the first romance novel you ever read?
JJ: Ransom by Julie Garwood.

RRG: Would you want to live in the time you write about? What would you love? Hate?
JJ: I would like to go back to the past and live in the time I write about for a bit, but not permanently. I think it would be fun to immerse myself in the Regency time period and really learn about life, plus I would die to where those gowns!! I’m assuming I’ll be rich, of course! However, I wouldn’t want to stay because their life spans were so much shorter than our’s today! Plus medicine, childbirth, etc. is just not what it is today.

RRG: Who is your favorite romance duo?
JJ: I have to say to this day my favorite hero and heroine are still Whitney and Clayton from Whitney My Love.

RRG: How do you come up with your character’s names?
JJ: Oh, that’s painstaking!!! I have a list of common Regency names that I use along with several research sites and from there I narrow, narrow and narrow some more.

Rapid Fire Round
Heels or flip flops? To go out – heels definitely. Day to day – flip flops.
The Beach or The Mountains? Beach in the summer. Mountains in the fall.
American hottie or sexy Brit? Sexy Brit, of course!!!
Sugar or Salty Snacks? Salty!

Thank You, Julie!!

My Fair DuchessAbout My Fair Duchess
After years of playing the rake to hide a dark family secret, the Duke of Aversley feels tainted beyond redemption and cynical beyond repair. Never does he imagine hope will come in the form of a quirky, quick-witted lady determined to win the heart of another gentleman.

Thanks to a painfully awkward past, Lady Amelia De Vere long ago relinquished the notion she was a flower that had yet to blossom. But when her family faces financial ruin and the man she has always loved is on the verge of marrying another, she’ll try anything to transform herself to capture her childhood love and save her family―including agreeing to participate in a bet between her brother and the notorious, dangerously handsome Duke Of Aversley.

Bound by the bet, Amelia and Aversley discover unexpected understanding and passion beyond their wildest dreams, if only they can let go of their pride, put trust in each other and chance losing their hearts.

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Giveaway

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-Romance Reader Girl

Review: Dancing With A Devil by Julie Johnstone

Official Blurb: A Lord Chained To His Past…
Lord Trent Rutherford’s past has left him guarded, jaded and perfectly content to spend the rest of his life moving from one meaningless affair to the next. Until he meets Lady Audrey Cringlewood, an innocent beauty who makes him question everything he believes. His devilish demeanor guards more than a wounded heart. Behind his swagger lie secrets he’d rather forget than face, but the price of forgetting may be his second chance at life.

A Lady Determined To Shape Her Future…
Audrey Cringlewood longs to marry for love, not convenience. After several months of flirtatious banter, secret smiles and three very unforgettable kisses, Trent Rutherford, the rake known as Sin, proves himself the man of her dreams. Audrey suspects she understands the pain he hides behind his devil may care attitude, but when the truth comes to light, is her love enough to heal all wounds or will the secrets Trent guarded so carefully tear them apart forever?

21461012My Thoughts: Dancing With A Devil was not the typical Regency romance. Yes, it had many elements that are Regency but it was not the cookie cutter Duke meets wallflower and falls in love. Nope, the hero and heroine of this Regency have strong personalities and own thoughts about love and marriage.

From the opening pages of the book Lady Audrey is not a simpering miss. She is determined to have the life she craves. She is outspoken and honest. Audrey is a young lady determined to make the most of life and she is willing to overcome obstacles that may be in her way. Oh and the obstacles come in the form of her father and brother.

Widower, Lord Trent Rutherford like his ladies willing, wanting and experienced. No virginal ladies for him but when Lady Audrey puts him under her spell she is the only thing he will ever want. However, Trent’s wife who has been dead may not be so dead and puts a kink into claiming Lady Audrey.

Dancing With A Devil had many wonderful elements. I was laughing with how honest Audrey was when talking with her peers and in other moments my heart was breaking for Audrey and Trent. There are twist and turns in this story that you don’t see coming, which adds to the charm of the book. This story has a wonderful cast of characters that make it unforgettable.

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-Romance Reader Girl

Review: Bargaining with a Rake by Julie Johnstone

Readers, a friend of mine recommended I read this book and I am so happy she did. It was a great read! Books recommendations from friends are usually good finds and Bargaining with a Rake is a good find!

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Spitfire, Gillian Rutherford is a daughter of a recluse duke. She is has been running from a dark sad secret for the past eleven years, and she is tired of running. She has one shot to have a happy life and make sure his sister Whitney, has a happy life. Gillian must marry to make this reality. She has set her sights on an successful American businessman. This will be her ticket out of England. What she doesn’t count on is her heart telling her the American’s business partner and best friend is the man she should be with and not the American.

Alexander Trevelle, Lord Lionhurst is all things handsome and wicked. He lives a rakes life. Breaking hearts as the day is long among the Ton. Behind the rakes facade Alex is troubled, haunted and desperately faking his way through life. When his sisters sudden death throws him into overdrive, he finds he must ruin and help the woman that makes his blood boil with passion into the arms of his best friend and business partner the American, Drake Sutherland.

It’s simple really… Gillian Rutherford must marry the American Drake Sutherland and go to America, taking her sister, Whitney with her. She can do that. She’ll just need to have the American fall in love with her. She is beautiful and witting, what’s not to like? What she doesn’t count on is the rake known as Alex Trevelle, Drake’s business partner and best friend. A sad turn of events will take place and Alex and Gillian will team up and find a way to get Drake to marry Gillian. This will seek revenge for Alex and give a fresh start for Gillian and her sister. What they both didn’t see coming are the sparks that are between them. Can they both ignore the spark to accomplish their goals?

This was my first read by Julie Johnstone and I really enjoyed it. This book has quite a bit of suspense just waiting to be discovered. The villain in this book is nasty, and you can’t wait for him to get what’s coming to him. Great secondary characters as well. Auntie is funny and a strong force to be reckoned with. The chemistry between Alex and Gillian is electric and it was a joy to read it unfold. You’ll be on the edge of your seat until the very end to see what happens. Fun read. 

You can purchase this book and other by Julie Johnstone on Amazon or B&N.

Reach out to Julie via her website.

-Romance Reader Girl