Between a Rake & a Hard PlaceIt’s time for a trip through cyber-space and I’d love for you to come along for the ride. We’re celebrating the release of Between a Rake & a Hard Place. It’s the last book in the Royal Rakes series and my last collaboration with romance legend NYTimes bestseller Connie Mason.

The early reviews have been total raves!

“Shimmers with romance… Well-rounded characters and effortless plotting make this installment the best in the series.” – Publishers Weekly

“A determined man, a stubborn woman and a mad, sensual adventure that will keep readers up all night.” – RTBOOKReviews

Lady Serena’s List of Forbidden Pleasures:
Attend an exclusively male club.
Smoke a cigar.
Have a fortune told by gypsies.
Dance the scandalous waltz.
Sir Jonah Sharp thinks Lady Serena Osbourne will be just like any other debutante, and seducing her will be one of the easiest services he’s ever done for the Crown. Then he catches her wearing trousers and a mustache in his gentleman’s club and she demands he teach her to smoke a cigar. But what will truly be Jonah’s undoing is finding out he’s an item on her list too, which makes him determined to bring her all the forbidden pleasures she can handle.

Even though this is part of a series, each of the stories stands on its own.

To Purchase Between a Rake and a Hard PlaceAmazon | Kindle |Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Chapters/Indigo  | iBookstore |IndieBound | Kobo | Discover a New Love | Sourcebooks

Be sure to pop in to each of the tour stops for fun and giveaways!

Jan. 6th–  The Jaunty Quills
Jan. 7th–  Book-n-Kisses.
Jan. 8th– CasablancaAuthors
Jan. 9th–  SOS Aloha
Jan. 14th-  Eclectic Passions
Jan. 16th-  Ramblings from this Chick
Jan. 21st-  Manga Maniac Cafe
Jan. 23rd- Long&Short Reviews
Jan. 28th- Reading Between the Wines
Jan. 30th- Book Girl of Mur-y Castell

See you there!

It’s almost here! Tomorrow is the release day for One Night with a Rake. Today I’ll share a bit of the actual history behind the premise of my Royal Rakes series.

One Night with a RakeIn 1817, the royal succession was thrown into an uproar when Princess Charlotte died with her stillborn son. The Prince Regent would never father another legitimate heir. Not only were he and his wife estranged, she was past bearing. So the three unmarried sons of King George III embarked on the “Hymen Race Terrific.” (I kid you not! That’s what the tabloids of the day called it!) The point was to marry and father a child who would one day wear the crown.

Three royal dukes were in contention. Adolphus Frederick, the Duke of Cambridge (the same title Prince William now holds, BTW!) is the one featured in One Night with a Rake. He was the 10th child of King George and the youngest surviving son. As a spare heir, the Duke of Cambridge pursued a military career, was wounded and captured during the Flanders Campaign in 1793.

When the opportunity to perhaps put his own progeny on the throne, even Cambridge didn’t like his chances. His older brothers would probably succeed him. He spent a great deal of time trying to arrange a bride for William (the Duke of Clarence from Waking Up with a Rake). After he settled matters for William, Cambridge married Augusta, his second cousin in June 1818. They were blessed with three children, but none of them ascended to the throne, because one of his brothers beat him to fatherhood.

So that’s the actual history behind One Night with a Rake. In my fictional world, someone doesn’t want to see the House of Hanover continue on the throne and sends in a rake to interfere with the royal duke’s courting. Hope you’ll enjoy the whirlwind of deception, seduction and revelation of true love that ensues! Look for One Night with a Rake at your favorite booksellers’ or find it at these fine etailers:

Buy Links:

Amazon Print
Kindle

B&N.com
BAM
IndieBound
Book Depository

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This is the first stop on my One Night with a Rake blog tour! I’m still on the cruise around the British Isles with my DH (and yes, we’re having a wonderful time!) but I’ll respond to all comments when I get home. If you leave a comment or question for me, you’ll be entered in Sourcebooks’ drawing for a copy of Waking Up with a Rake (Book 1 in the Royal Rakes series). US/Canada only. I’d like to add a second winner who will receive their choice from my Rock*it Read titles, open to international readers wherever a Kindle ebook is available.

Oh! Be sure to join me tomorrow at Casababes for the next stop on the One Night with a Rake tour!

Here’s a question to get you started: Do you like real historical underpinnings in your historical romance or do you prefer less actual intrusion of the real world in your fiction?

 

 

As you know, I’ve done my share of blog tours. Today, I’m a stop on someone else’s tour. Welcome to Claire Ashgrove, nationally best selling author! I hope you’ll enjoy an excerpt from her new release, BOUND BY DECENCY. Be sure you check out how to win her blog tour prize. Good luck!

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Bound by DecencyAfter inheriting a portion of Spain’s Royal Inheritance, Cain left The Flying Gang for a chance at honest wealth. With the secrets of his piracy tucked away, he achieved his lofty aspirations. But when his partner and best friend betrays him to the Royal Navy, Cain’s dreams are ripped to shreds. He’s left with his ship, the tattered remnants of a stolen future, and a piece of Spanish mystery. Wanted by three nations and destined for the gallows, he returns to the legendary band of buccaneers for one purpose — vengeance.

Kidnapped by the formidable Cain, India Prescott discovers he intends to kill the man she’s to marry. Cain’s story reveals betrayal. Treachery that extends to her as well. Although she holds the key to retribution, India refuses to become another man’s pawn. Freedom lies before her, the liberty to shrug off propriety, make her own decisions, and claim her destiny. But when she uncovers goodness in Cain’s soul and he awakens passion in her heart, she must combat the chains of convention once more.

Only this time India’s not fighting society. She’s battling a pirate bent on keeping her decency intact.

Series Concept:

The Flying Gang Legacy

1717…

With Europe in chaos over who would claim the Spanish throne, the Atlantic waters bred a most despicable lot. Privateers who pillaged and claimed, loyal to no country, more thief than noble mercenary. One man would claim Spain’s inheritance. He would pass it on. To a band of cutthroats more terrifying and deadly than the nightmares of the deep.

As the nations settle into peace, The Flying Gang knows no boundaries. No sea is safe. No shore unchartered. Chilling Rogers raised to the sky, they reign with fear, bound only to the wind, the brotherhood, and the ships they love. One tiny jeweled box strikes a gleam in their eyes. A golden trinket four rogue Captains risk danger, capture, and even friendship to possess.

Until love interferes with their rapscallion hearts…

Excerpt

For a moment, he could do nothing more than stare. Richard had said his intended was lovely, but somehow, Cain had never pictured her as a beauty. Yet now, as she stood before him, her chest heaving with indignation and her hair a sopping mess, he realized Richard had once again played him false. India Prescott wasn’t merely lovely. She was breathtaking.

“What in the name of Mary do you think you’re doing?” she snapped. “My father will see you hang for this.”

Her sharp tongue yanked Cain out of his stupor. He collected himself quickly, and for the first time since his arrest, gave into a broad grin. “Indeed, he will have to get in line.”

India’s eyes widened a fraction, but anger drew delicate brows downward, and those sky-blue eyes narrowed. “I see no amusement in this. Do you have any idea who I am?”

As a rumble of laughter broke through the men within earshot, Cain’s humor subsided. His smile faded, and he reached out to twine a thick lock of her hair around his finger. Turning his wrist, he wrapped the silken length around his hand, slowly bringing her closer. So close that the wet fabric straining across her breasts dampened his shirt. The heat of her skin grazed his. “I know well who you are, Miss Prescott.” He ran the back of his free hand across her dainty collar bone, over the slope of her shoulder, then lifted it to draw his thumb across her parted lips. The audible catch of her breath ricocheted through him. So she was not unaffected by him. Good. He could use it to his advantage.

His gaze held hers. A flicker of fear passed behind her eyes, but to her credit, she didn’t shrink away. She stood straight and proud, even as she shivered in the stirring breeze. Courage Cain didn’t often encounter from the gentle born. God’s teeth, men far stronger and larger than she didn’t hesitate to grovel at his feet. Yet she, no bigger than a lark, defied him with stubborn silence.

Unacceptable.

To drive her subservient position as his captive home, he tightened his hold on her hair until she winced. Leaning forward, he lowered his mouth to her ear. “You are the daughter of a powerful man and presently my prisoner, to do with as I will.” Stepping back, he untwined his hand and smirked.

India’s palm cracked across his cheek. “Rot in hell!”

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Claire Ashgrove has been writing since her early teens and maintained the hobby for twenty years before deciding to leap into the professional world. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction’s Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write steamy, sexy stories for the Champagne and Black Rose lines. Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire’s paranormal romance series, The Curse of the Templars debuted with Tor in January 2012. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also writes for Berkley Heat as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire.

She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, and her local RWA chapters, Heartland Romance Authors, Midwest Romance Writers, North Texas Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

Claire lives in Missouri with her two toddler sons, and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. In her “free” time, she enjoys cooking, winning at Rummy, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending quiet moments with her family, including the critters. She credits her success to her family’s constant support and endless patience.

To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at www.claireashgrove.com, or www.toristclaire.com.

Giveaway Details:

Claire will be giving away a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to one random commenter during the tour.  Follow the tour – the more times you comment, the better your chances of winning!  Complete schedule can be found here.