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Archive for the ‘May 2010’ Category

When Edouard de Lanceau, son of Moydenshire’s great lord Geoffrey de Lanceau, finds an unconscious wounded woman lying in a river, he’s shocked to recognize Lady Juliana de Greyne, to whom he was once almost betrothed.  Years ago, his bet with a friend to win her kiss went awry, and the betrothal never went forward.  But Edouard has never forgotten Juliana.  Taking her in his arms, he vows to find out who would want her dead, and why, while he rides on to an important meeting on behalf of his ill father.

Lord Geoffrey’s enemies, Veronique Desjardin and her grown son Tye, have returned to Moydenshire to destroy him.  Alerted to Edouard’s mission, they take him prisoner and chain him in a tower.  Now a hostage, he must fight not only for his life, but for Juliana’s as well.

When Juliana wakes, she has no memory of who she is or what has happened to her.  All she knows is she’s captive in a chamber along with a man in chains insisting he knows her and begging her to set him free.  For reasons unknown, her feelings for this stranger run strong.  Were they once lovers—or is he really a cold-blooded killer?  Determined to regain her memories and know the truth, Lady Juliana discovers an inner strength she’s never known and the power of A Knight’s Persuasion.

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When I wrote my historical romance A Knight’s Vengeance, published in paperback by Medallion Press in September 2006, I didn’t intend for it to be the first book in a series.  However, the more I thought about creating follow on stories, the more enthralled I became.  Why not spend more time with the dynamic characters I’d grown to love through the writing of this novel, my first attempt at a medieval romance that was so much the “book of my heart?”  Also, I had a fabulous cast of secondary male characters who deserved to be heroes of their own books and find their lady loves.  My publisher supported the idea of follow-on novels, and so, my award-winning Knight’s Series was born.

A Knight’s Persuasion, released earlier this month, is the latest installment and takes place in the fictional county of Moydenshire, England, in the early 13th century.  While it’s the fourth title in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  So can all of the other novels.

Twenty-year-old Edouard de Lanceau is the bold, handsome hero of A Knight’s Persuasion.  A trained knight who lives his life by the code of chivalry, he is familiar to my readers as the son and heir of Lord Geoffrey de Lanceau from A Knight’s Vengeance.  Also returning are the ravishing but bloodthirsty villainess, Veronique (one of my favorite characters, because she’s SO incredibly wicked!), and her illegitimate son, Tye.  He last appeared as a fussy toddler in A Knight’s Temptation (Book 3), but he’s now a grown warrior, raised by his mother to one day kill the man she claims is Tye’s father but who refuses to accept him as his child without proof: Geoffrey.

What binds these bitter enemies together is the heroine, Lady Juliana de Greyne, to whom Edouard was almost betrothed.  Their relationship, full of potential, ended badly because of a foolish bet between Edouard and a friend.  Edouard soon found himself tricked into a betrothal to Juliana’s sister, even though he desired only Juliana.  Months later, while on an important mission on behalf of his father, he’s shocked to find Juliana lying in a river, unconscious from a brutal head wound.  She was obviously left for dead.  He vows to find out why.

Still harboring strong feelings for her, Edouard takes her to the nearest castle where she was said to be living, to be tended by a healer.  Not expecting an ambush, he is overpowered and taken prisoner by Veronique and Tye, who will use him to lure Geoffrey into a murderous trap.  Once his lordship is dead, they will kill Edouard and lay claim to Moydenshire.

Edouard is chained in a cold tower, with Juliana as his cellmate.  Convinced she knows something important, which is which is why she was left for dead, he asks Juliana to tell him what happened to her, but she can’t remember.  She can’t even recall her own name, or ever meeting him.  It’s a terrifying situation for her that I felt deeply myself.  Fighting his love for her, Edouard tries to win her trust, coax back her memories, and help him escape—before Veronique and Tye fulfill their ambitions.

The unraveling story is packed with danger, adventure, simmering passion, and excitement—hallmarks, I am told, of my previous Knight’s Series books.  As with my other novels, I leave enough threads to weave into a follow-on novel, if I’m destined to write one.  While I don’t want to reveal exactly how things end up between Edouard and Juliana, I will say that when it comes to true love, there’s no denying A Knight’s Persuasion.

 

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Many thanks to Catherine for being our guest today. For more information on Catherine’s medieval historical romances, and to read an excerpt from A Knight’s Persuasion, please visit her website here. Leave a comment for the chance to win a signed copy of A Knight’s Persuasion. Good Luck!

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When anger and tenacity collide, sparks are inevitable.

Devils on Horseback, Book 4

The Civil War took more than Lee Blackwood’s arm. It took his confidence, his pride…and hope that any woman will see him as more than half a man. His friendships helped keep the demons at bay—until now. As each Devil has found happiness, Lee is left alone to cope with the darkness that claws at his soul.

Genevieve Blanchard has only one thing going for her: her no-good late husband’s run-down farm. That, and a fancy name no one can spell might get her a cup full of dirt in Tanger. Room, board and seamstress skills aren’t much, but it’s all she can offer any man willing to help her bring in her wheat crop.

Reluctantly Lee takes on the job, the widow’s smart-mouthed daughter and his growing attraction to a woman who stubbornly refuses to see him as anything less than whole. Slowly, his bitterness begins to fade under the light of their blooming love.

Warning: Y’all will fall in love with this stubborn cowboy, cheer for his strong woman, and get caught up in plenty of fightin’, lots of makin’ up, bone-meltin’ sex and forever kinda romance.

 

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Today marks the release of Devils on Horseback: Lee in ebook from Samhain. *confetti* Not only is it the fourth in a five book series, but it is unusual because my hero has one arm.

Writing unusual heroes and heroines is not unusual for me. 🙂 I tend to feature those you might not otherwise see, such as a homeless heroine, a hero suffering from PTSD, a disabled heroine with a misshapen leg or even a hero afflicted with OCD. Lee surpassed all of those amazing, strong people and became my first hero to struggle with a lost limb.

I struggled right along with him, both emotionally and as a writer. I cried for him when he couldn’t and with him when he could. Of all the devils, he’s the most damaged and I held onto him tight, letting him know it would be okay.

To be honest, it’s also challenging to remember to say “arm” and not “arms” or “hand” and not “hands”. Then there’s the physical description of action – he can only fight, farm, eat, make love, etc. with one arm or hand. Lee hung in there and waiting (im)patiently for me to figure it all out.

Lee is angry, not only because he lost his arm but because he struggles with what it means to be a man. He’s tough, strong, and well built (of course), yet he cannot reconcile who he is with who he wants to be. Men tend to want to be the best at everything, but that isn’t a fairy tale and it sure as hell isn’t easy.

Genny, as his heroine and a survivor in her own right, sees beyond all the crap he throws up to block everyone’s view of him. She finds the man beneath the fury and realizes he is who she’s been looking for. She’s by no means perfect and has her own self-esteem issues, but her love for Lee bypasses it all.

I think what sets this romance apart, aside from the fact my hero has one arm, is that the reader gets to experience what it means to be him. The frustration, the anger, the fear – it’s all there along with the happily ever after. I still tear up when I read the last two pages – when I know it’s all going to be all right, when it doesn’t matter if the hero has one arm or seven, when there is love, everything is possible.

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Many thanks to Beth for being our guest today! For more information on Beth and what she has coming up next, visit her website here. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment because the winner of Beth’s post will get all four books in Beth’s Devils on Horseback series. That’s right, you have the chance to win downloads of NATE, JAKE, ZEKE & LEE. Good Luck!

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From the elegant halls of London to the rugged castles of distant Scotland, historical romance has never been hotter! New York Times bestselling author Susan Johnson, with Terri Brisbin and Mary Wine…

When A Lady Is Willing, There Will Always Be A Way…

As You Wish Susan Johnson

Felicity Belvoir is a charmer indeed-and still a virgin. But not for long. The dashing earl of Albion has vowed to be her first lover…and he is known throughout London as the gold standard in female pleasure…

A Storm Of Love Terri Brisbin

The wild lands of Argyll hold no promise for a woman cast away-until a younger lover draws Agnes of Mull into his strong embrace. Breac’s tender touch erases all sorrow…and his compelling sensuality brings her to ecstasy…

Stealing The Bride Mary Wine

Brawny and brave, Hayden Monroe is a laird in need of a wife and the beautiful Elspeth Leask shall be his. But he must bed her to wed her-and fully satisfy her deepest desires…

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I am not the most patient person in the world. I understand why Marie Antoinette wanted ‘to have her cake and eat it too” – that makes a lot of sense to me.! No waiting for the results you want that way. And with spring comes a feeling of watching and waiting for something!

This spring’s anticipation has gone in a completely different direction than usual for me. After planning out my entire summer and fall schedule (using my lovely new iPhone to do it) something big shifted. Instead of being held in Nashville, something that was in the works for years, the biggest romance writers conference needed to move because of the recent devastation in that region. And the new location? Disney World in Orlando!!

I love Disney World. I go whenever I can – which has been twice this year already. Though both were for business meetings, I managed to add a family vacation onto the first one and I went in a couple days ahead for the second one. And now I’m going again! Woohoo!!

In the hours since the information was announced, I’ve downloaded new apps for my iPhone, search the floormap of the hotels where we’ll be staying (a new hotel for us – we’ve never stayed there before), check park hours and Extra Magic hours…so much to do…and the anticipation grows.

Spring also builds anticipation for summer and trips to the beach and romance novels to be read while sitting sea- or pool-side. I have a shopping-bagful just waiting for some open moments.

I’m also expecting to write neat book and am anxious to get it finished with some gripping scenes intact. The anticipation of writing that story and those characters is growing now and I can hear them and see them and want to meet them!

How about you? What are you waiting for in like? A favorite Author’s new book? Finding a new author? A certain vacation location in mind or being planned? I hope you’ll share your ideas about Anticipation – and one poster will  receive a special gift from me.

Terri Brisbin is celebrating her new busy release, A STORM OF LOVE  in an anthology. Her next book THE MERCENARY’S BRIDE. For more information, visit her webpage at www.terribrisbin.com.

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Ireland is a good place to get lucky…

Even a man on the run can enjoy the thrill of the chase…

After getting on the bad side of New York’s Irish mob, Liam O Brien thought he could weather the storm back in Ireland. Working as a bartender in his parent’s old village of Ballycraig, he’s not looking for any trouble. But he could use a bit of fun.

Aislinn McCafferty has already been scorned by a man once at the wedding altar. Now, any man who tries to woo her is quickly and coldly dispatched. The unknowing Liam soon learns this the hard way–and is immediately intrigued.

Eagerly accepting a wager from the pub’s owner, Liam begins a determined pursuit of the stubborn and beautiful Aislinn, who in turn uses all of her wiles to rid herself of the charmingly determined Yank. But neither of them expects this donnybrook of the sexes to turn into an unlikely love…

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Dear Reader,

Ireland is known to be a land of romantics, rebels, and dreamers, an enchantingly beautiful place where passion and loyalty thrive side by side, enhanced by Irish’s famous penchant for wit and drama. I’d always dreamed of setting a romance there, and spending time in Ireland myself sealed the deal.

Readers of my Wild Hart Saga will remember handsome, bad boy Liam from my previous book, With a Twist. But it was obvious such a broody, complex character deserved his own story, and where better to set it than Ireland, where his family hailed from? The result is my book that’s out this week, Straight Up.

You see, Liam is man who enjoys the thrill of the chase. After getting on the bad side of New York’s Irish mob, he thought he could weather the storm back in Ireland. Working as a bartender in his parent’s old village of Ballycraig, he’s not looking for any trouble. But he could use a bit of fun.

Aislinn McCafferty has already been scorned by a man once at the wedding altar. Now, any man who tries to woo her is quickly and coldly dispatched. The unknowing Liam soon learns this the hard way–and is immediately intrigued.

Eagerly accepting a wager from the pub’s owner, Liam begins a determined pursuit of the stubborn and beautiful Aislinn, who in turn uses all of her wiles to rid herself of the charmingly determined Yank. But neither of them expects this donnybrook of the sexes to turn into an unlikely love…

The hardest part of writing the book was fighting the yen to hop on the next plane to Ireland! It truly is an amazing place, full of friendly faces and some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen. The highlight was visiting the tiny village in Sligo where my grandmother was born.

I hope you enjoy reading Straight Up as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I would love to hear what you think. Feel free to contact me at deirdre@deirdremartin.com. Happy Reading–and happy Spring!

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Thank you for visiting with us, Ms Martin!

Leave a comment to this post to enter the drawing for two prizes: two winners, one will get a copy of Straight Up and another one will get a copy of With a Twist. Visit Ms Martin’s website to read more about her work.

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Soul Gatherer Brian Webster has long lived with the guilt of his failure to save his teenage sister. When another girl dies in his arms as she protects an ancient coin from a demon, he takes up her cause. The coin is one of thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas. United, the coins are a dark relic of immense power, and in the wrong hands, they could destroy civilization.

Lena Sharpe is on her own mission to find the Judas coins. A Soul Gatherer by day and a thief by night, she’s negotiated the most important deal of her life. When Brian intervenes and kidnaps her to obtain the coins, she attempts to escape. But the brazen warrior is unrelenting, as he is fearful that the beautiful felon has made a pact with the devil himself. And he’s not entirely wrong.

Bound together by burning desire and a similar darkness in their hearts, they race against time to recover the missing coins. But as the truth behind Lena’s bargain surfaces, Brian is faced with a desperate choice—save one or save many.

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The First Meet Didn’t Go Too Well…

The first meet between my hero and heroine in my latest release, Bound by Darkness, doesn’t go so well, especially for the hero, Brian Webster. Without giving it all away, let me just say that the heroine, an antiquities thief, catches him off guard and he ends up taking a kick where no man wants to be kicked.  He’s a tough guy, and he survives.

My hero has a healthy ego, so I knew when I wrote the book that he needed a heroine who could take him down a few notches. He hates to fail and generally doesn’t. So I handed him a woman capable of making him fail. I know, I’m a cruel author.  Trust me, though, it takes a lot to dent Brian’s confidence.

In romance novels, we generally like to see the hero depicted as supremely competent, able to take on the world, and heroic to the core. They don’t usually find themselves taken down by a woman. But Lena isn’t an ordinary woman. She’s a Soul Gatherer like Brian—gifted with exceptional reflexes, night vision, and rapid healing. She’s also been fighting demons on her own for over a hundred years.

Unfortunately for Brian, their second meeting has its challenges as well:

Just as he resumed his vigil at the door, the elevator chimed and light footsteps trod down the carpeted corridor toward them. Brian signaled to the others to get out of sight and hugged the wall as tightly as he could. If she swept the room with her senses before she entered, they wouldn’t have a prayer. But hopefully the lack of obvious pursuit after her getaway had eased her wariness.

The footsteps paused in front of the room and a key card snicked in the lock. The instant she shoved the door, he leapt. He took her smoothly to the hallway floor, pinning her arms to her sides and using his superior size to hold her in place.

Lena did not go down easily, however.

First, she bloodied his nose with a quick head butt. Then she kicked him in the shins. Bigger and stronger than her, he easily maintained his hold, but her hands remained free to inflict damage. She dug her fingers into his leg muscles, pinching and twisting with everything she had. His gonads still throbbed from the kick she’d delivered a half hour before, so he settled his full weight on her and wrapped his legs around her to minimize her struggles.

Nothing he did took the fight out of her. She continued to pinch, bash, and wrench every available part of his body.

“Stop,” he said hoarsely into her ear. Blood dripped from his battered nose. “We’re not the enemy. We’re Soul Gatherers, like you.”

Another head butt, this one to the mouth.

“Need some help, Webster?” Murdoch asked from the doorway, amused.

Brian ignored the comment.

“How do you think we found you so quickly?” he asked her, mashing her face into the garish carpet with his upper body. “We have access to the Gatherer database.”

Her fingernails found the bullet wound on his thigh and dug in. The healing process was already well under way, but her attack ripped the scab off.

“Fuck!”

Down the hall, a door creaked.

“Guys,” said Carlos, his voice low. “Can we take this inside?”

Brian made one last attempt to get through to her. “Think about it, Lena. If I were a demon, I’d be pelting you with fire right now, not rolling around on the ground, taking a shit-kicking for no reason.”

Her struggles abruptly ceased.

His heartbeat sped up the instant she relaxed. Partly because her perfumed scent finally navigated the swollen tissues of his nose, but mostly because he discovered one of his arms was pressed against a pair of very nice breasts. Only a rat-faced guy would even notice something like that at a moment like this, but there you had it. He was a rat-faced guy.

How do you feel about seeing the hero bested by a woman? Does it make you think less of the hero? Or make you root for the heroine? Does your impression depend on the circumstances?

Bound by Darkness is the second book in my Soul Gatherer series, and it just hit stores this week. To help me celebrate, one random commenter from today’s post will receive a signed copy. Good luck!

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Huge thanks to Annette for being our guest today. Find out more about Annette and her books at her website here.

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Janet Begay is a Stormwalker, capable of wielding the raw elemental power of nature, a power that threatens to overwhelm her. Only her lover, Mick, is able to calm the storm within her–even as their passion reaches unimaginable heights of ecstasy.

Janet and Mick have come to the desert town of Magellan to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the police chief’s daughter. The barren land around it is full of vortexes, the gatewars that connect the human world with the mystical realm of Beneath, and after encountering skinwalkers and receiving hints from a shape-shifting coyote and a smmart-ass magic mirror, Janet fears that her own powerful, scary-as-hell mother is involved.

She’s also uncertain about Mick. He can wield fire and never get burned, and Janet can’t seem to touch him with her storm powers. But Janet must trust him, since she and Mick find themselves venturing where no human can survive alone — and only together can they overcome the greatest danger they’ve ever faced.

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I’m thrilled this week to launch another new series, STORMWALKER, which is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy series that follows the adventures of Janet Begay, a Stormwalker.

(If you didn’t already know this, I also write as Jennifer Ashley. I’ve launched two new series under that name in the last 12 months: PRIDE MATES and the MACKENZIE series–Book 2 of that one, LADY ISABELLA’S SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE is out in July.)

What is a Stormwalker? In my world, she’s a woman who can harness the power of storms to create powerful magic. In Janet’s own words:

“I’m a Stormwalker, which is my father’s people’s way of saying I can harness the power of storms for my own use. On a calm day, I can’t work much more than simple spells, but put a storm near me, and I can make the wind, lightning, and rain dance to my bidding. I’m good at it. Deadly.”

Janet, a Navajo, lives near Navajo country, where there are plenty of storms—turbulent rain and thunderstorms in the summer, crazy blizzards in the winter. Janet comes to Magellan, a small town in this high desert, to hunt for the missing daughter of the police chief.

Janet’s good at finding clues to crimes (supernatural and otherwise), because she can sense lingering auras of people, places, and events. But she soon finds more than she bargains for, when the vortexes east of town start calling to her.

Another thing she didn’t bargain for was the return of Mick, her on-again, off-again boyfriend who never quite tells her who he is or what he’s up to. When she’s caught in the wildness of the storm magic, he’s able to drain off the excess energy—I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess how (wink).

A little more about the setting and the kinds of critters you’ll find there:

Magellan: A town in which the paranormal is normal.

Changers: Shape shifters descended from shamans who twined with animal spirits and learned to take their shapes. (The good shape shifters.)

Skinwalkers: Evil beings who can take the shape of animals or humans they’ve killed. (The bad shape shifters.)

Unbelievers: Those who live in and around Magellan and still don’t believe in the paranormal.

Vortexes: Swirls of mystical energy that collect in certain places in the desert. Some are gateways to Beneath.

Beneath: The previous shell world from which mankind and certain gods emerged. Those gods who got trapped below are pretty pissed off.

Nightwalkers: Bloodsuckers who can act civilized, but don’t always like to.

 

Dragons: Born of this earth in volcanoes, storms, and deep oceans, their number dwindled after the emergence of mankind. They consider themselves the guardians of the earth.

 

A few of the characters you’ll meet:

Janet Begay: Raised on the Navajo Nation, Janet can draw the power of storms to feed her formidable latent magic. Storm power makes her crazy, and only Mick can ease her down.

Mick: A biker who rescued Janet from the clutches of her own power. She fell in love with him, but she has no idea who he really is or where he comes from. She knows only that Mick wields powerful fire magic and can draw off her storm powers with his sensual touch.

Nash Jones: The Sheriff of Hopi County. He’s an Unbeliever, not fond of people who claim they use magic. He’s ex-Army special forces, a stickler for rules and regs, and might possess the most potent magic of all.

Maya Medina: A beautiful electrician with many secrets.

Fremont Hansen: A plumber who calls himself a minor mage. He has secrets too.

Coyote: A shape-shifting trickster god with an eye for the ladies. Despite his jovial exterior, Janet knows he’s dangerous.

The Mirror: A very powerful magical talisman comfortable with his sexual orientation.

More about the series plus a link to an excerpt is here: http://www.allysonjames.com/stormwalker.html

The Covers: I struck lucky with the covers for this series. The artist and designer got it exactly right, and the model is soooo beautiful! I am thrilled. Check out the cover for Firewalker (which is out in November). Wow.

 When Mick goes missing, it’s up to Janet to find him and figure out how to keep him safe from persecution by his own people. She’ll need a little help from her friends, old and new: Nash and Coyote; Cassandra, a wicked Wicca; and a few strange beings who are stirring things up in Magellan.
Book Two of the Stormwalker series.

All right, now for the question of the day:

It seems to me there’s two kinds of paranormal romance: 1) action/adventure and dire danger among the romance, and 2) stories where the focus is much more on the romance with any action/adventure/danger in the background (these tend to be lighter). Which do you prefer? Or do you have a preference at all? (And if you disagree about the two kinds of paranormals, what types do you see out there?)

Comment on this (or just say hi) to win a copy of EITHER something from my backlist OR an ARC of Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage (historical romance by Jennifer Ashley forthcoming in July).

Six years ago, eighteen-year-old Lady Isabella Scranton scandalized all of London by eloping the night of her come-out ball with the notorious rake, Lord Mac Mackenzie. After three turbulent years of marriage, she scandalized London once again–this time by leaving him.

Now the reformed Mac has returned, and he wants one thing: Isabella back in his life, his house, his bed. He’ll do anything he has to, play any game, as long as he gets her back. Isabella resists, but when she agrees to pose for erotic paintings he’s been working on, she realizes her body has never stopped craving her husband’s very skilled touch. Mac is determined to show Isabella that he’s a changed man, but three years without her has only increased his hunger for her.

When an ingenious forger with designs on Mac’s paintings, and Isabella herself, comes dangerously near, Mac sets himself up as Isabella’s protector and vows to never leave her side, whether his independent and proud lady likes it or not.

I have a list of all books in my backlist here: http://www.allysonjames.com/seriesorder.html  

Thanks so much for hosting me at Novel Thoughts, and I hope you enjoy STORMWALKER!

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Many thanks to Allyson for being our guest today! For more information on her and the books she has coming out in the next few months, visit her Jennifer Ashley website and her Allyson James website. Do not forget to leave a comment to be in the running to win a book by her! Good Luck!

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Head on over to Paula Quinn’s website and sign up for her newest contest. Two winners will win an ARC of RAVISHED BY A HIGHLANDER. How yummy is this cover?!

FORBIDDEN LOVE

Davina Montgomery is no ordinary English lady. For her own protection, she’s been locked away from society, her true identity the Crown’s most closely guarded secret. Until a shocking betrayal—and a bold rescue—land her in the arms of a fierce Highlander, a powerful warrior whose searing gaze and tantalizing touch awaken her body and soul.

UNDENIABLE DESIRE

As the firstborn son of a powerful Scottish laird, Robert MacGregor has no loyalty to the English throne, but he’s not the kind of man to leave a woman in distress, even if she is English. He vows to deliver Davina to safety, unharmed and untouched. Yet one stolen kiss leaves them both smoldering with desire…and desperate for more. With Davina’s secret threatening to destroy his clan, Rob must choose between everything he holds dear and the one woman he can’t live without.

RAVISHED BY A HIGHLANDER

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