Cover Reveal: Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny by Cindi Madsen

Today I am revealing the cover of CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY by Cindi Madsen!

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ABOUT CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY
Taking Shots #4Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.

Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.

Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.

Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.

Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.

CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY RELEASES MAY 8, 2017! 

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Preorder: http://amzn.to/2nepQ2U 

ABOUT CINDI MADSEN Cindi MadsenCindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

You can visit Cindi at: http://www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.

Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.

Connect with Cindi MadsenWebsite | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodreadsRafflecopter Giveaway:Win ebook copies of Getting Lucky Number Seven & Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen! 

Spotlight: Changing the Earl’s Mind by Kristen McLean

Today I’m helping to celebrate the release of Changing the Earl’s Mind by Kristen McLean!
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A man who knows everything…

For nearly a decade, Drake Ramsey, the disciplined and logical Earl of Saint Brides, has been the driving force behind the Home Office; meeting with foreign leaders to negotiate treaties, spurring a lethargic Parliament into action, and directing a secret army of spies. The last thing he wants to find while taking a well-deserved vacation is a dangerous fugitive. Nevertheless, when he catches a beautiful murderess hiding in his hunting cabin, he has little choice but to bring her to justice, landing himself in a battle for control he could never hope to win.

…meets a woman determined to prove him wrong.

Marrying a stranger simply to gain access to her dowry and travel the world, admittedly, was the biggest mistake of Sarah Tindall’s life. In fact, she would readily admit to making several big mistakes. Killing her husband, however, is not one of them. When a starchy lord takes it upon himself to bring her to a London prison, she is determined to escape him and prove her innocence, yet every attempt ends with her back in her handsome captor’s arms. Even if her innocence is proven, his forbidden and passionate kisses leave her uncertain if escape was ever an option.

Changing the Earl’s Mind (#3) – NEW RELEASE!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nzEJRi
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2n393jf
B&N: http://bit.ly/2ohDrr2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2n3eZIX
iTunes: http://apple.co/2nQYULb
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2lp7y1n
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And, the first book in the series – Behind the Marquess’s Mask – is on sale for 99¢ right now!
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2lLyzwN
About the Author
 
Kristen McLean Author PhotoKristen McLean is a regency-era romance novelist with a flair for humor and suspense. She has always had a love of novels, with a special place in her heart for historical romance. Now she has the pleasure of writing at home, tucked away in a forest with her husband, two children and their cat. Her husband is loving and impressively patient, their two beautiful children strive to embarrass and exhaust her, and the cat hates everyone, but tolerates—well, she tolerates whoever will feed her.
Connect with Kristen:

To celebrate the release of Changing the Earl’s Mind, Kristen is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. Enter here.

Review: Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake

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All my favourite books have heroines I love at least as much as the heroes. I loooooove Lady Calpurnia Hartwell.

Callie’s been told her whole life if she follows the rules, life will turn out just right.

Turns out:

At 28, Callie is on the shelf. She’s resigned herself to be a spinster. And if she’s not trying to catch a husband, why follow the rules?

Callie tears up her list of rules and makes a new list – A list of what she wants to do: Kiss someone — passionately. Ride Astride. Smoke Cheroot. Drink Scotch. Gamble at a Gentleman’s Club.

In Ralston, Callie finds a complex man – arrogant and quick to anger, yet gentle and seductive – who has a few secrets of his own. Breaking the rules together brings them together in a sexy, sweet, hilarious story. LOVED.

I listened to this in audio and the narrator, Carolyn Morris, did a wonderful job!

Perfect start to this series! Can’t wait for the next ones!

VIRTUAL TOUR: Rules for a Rogue by Christy Carlyle Excerpt + Review

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Buy Links:     Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo 

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Rules for a Rogue
Romancing the Rules #1
Author: Christy Carlyle
Format: eARC
Goodreads

About the book:

Kit Ruthven’s Rules (for Rogues)
#1 Love freely but guard your heart, no matter how tempting the invader.
#2 Embrace temptation, indulge your sensual impulses, and never apologize.
#3 Scorn rules and do as you please. You are a rogue, after all.

Following the rules never brought anything but misery for Christopher “Kit” Ruthven. After rebelling against his controlling father and leaving the family’s Ruthven Rules etiquette book empire behind, Kit has been breaking every one imaginable for the past six years. He’s enjoyed London’s sensual pleasures and secured his reputation as a Rogue, but he’s failed to achieve success. When he inherits his father’s publishing business, Kit is forced back into the life he never wanted. Worse, he must face Ophelia Marsden, the woman he jilted but never forgot.

After losing her father and refusing a loveless marriage proposal, Ophelia has learned to rely on herself. To maintain the family home and support her younger brother, she tutors young girls in deportment and decorum. But her pupils would be scandalized if they knew their imminently proper teacher was also the author of a guidebook encouraging ladies to embrace their independence and overthrow outdated notions of etiquette like the Ruthven Rules.

As Kit rediscovers the life, and the woman, he left behind, Ophelia must choose between the practicalities she never truly believed in, or the love she’s never been able to extinguish.

MY REVIEW: 

Kit and Phee grew up together and nearly became lovers before Kit chose to follow his dream of becoming a playwright. Kit left the country, and Phee, to chase his dream in London. Phee was heartbroken and Kit spent every day of the next four years hoping to see her again, but unwilling to return to the country and the obligations his father saw for him there. After his father’s death, though, he returns home and finds the spark still there.

I really enjoyed Rules for a Rogue. Kit, Phee & the rest of the cast of characters were fully developed people and I found nearly all of them quite relatable. The characters could have fallen into stereotypes, but Ms. Carlyle was able to turn them into multi-faceted people. Milly, for example, was, on the surface, the token spinster friend. Beneath the surface, though, she was much more than that – a brilliant confidant and co-conspirator, capable of love and heartbreak, strength and sensitivity.

It suffers slightly from the same fate of all second-chance-romances – the audience doesn’t get to watch them fall for each other initially. Ms. Carlyle got around this a bit by still including their meet-cute and allowing them to get to know each other all over again without ignoring their past. I found myself rooting for Phee & Kit all the way through. The romance is definitely not lacking.

Rules for a Rogue will keep you sighing, cheering, and swooning all the way to the end. 4.5 stars.

EXCERPT:

Before Ophelia could gather her sister and head back to the kitchen, a knock sounded at the front door. Juliet clutched her notebook to her chest and bolted back into the library.

Slipping Guidelines behind her back with one hand, Ophelia grasped the doorknob with the other. She schooled her features into a pleasant expression in case it was Mrs. Raybourn or, heaven forbid, Mr. Raybourn, in need of more reassurance their girls weren’t on the high road to ruin because of the book no one knew she’d written.

When she pulled the door open, all the breath whooshed from her body.

Their visitor wasn’t any member of the Raybourn family.

“Kit Ruthven.”

“You remember me, then?” He grinned as he loomed on the threshold, his shoulders nearly as wide as the frame. Eyes bright and intense, he took her in from head to toe, and then let his gaze settle on her mouth. When he finally looked into her eyes, the cocksure tilt of his grin had softened. She read a wariness in his gaze that matched her own.

She’d spent years trying to forget those dark, deep-set eyes.

“I remember you.” Her book slipped, skidding across her backside and clattering to the floor as her throat tightened on sentiments she’d been waiting years to express. None of them would come. Not a single word. Instead, in outright rebellion, her whole body did its best to melt into a boneless puddle. Gritting her teeth, Phee fought the urge to swoon or, worse, rush into his long, muscled arms.

“I’m relieved to hear it.” He had the audacity to kick his grin into a smile, a rakish slash that cut deep divots into his clean-shaven cheeks. Then he took a step through her door. “I worried that—”

“No.” She lifted a hand to stop him. Looking at the man was difficult enough. Hearing his voice—deeper now but achingly familiar—was too much. If he came closer, she might give in to some rogue impulse. And that wouldn’t do. That wouldn’t do at all.

Ophelia swallowed hard. She needed a moment to gather her wits. To rebuild her walls.

“You dropped something.” He moved toward her, so close his sleeve brushed hers.

She lowered her hand to avoid touching him and jerked back when he bent to retrieve her book, watching as he turned the volume to read its title.

Miss Gilroy’s Guidelines for Young Ladies. How intriguing. Looks as though Ruthven Publishing has some competition.”

Seeing him again was worse than she’d imagined. And she had imagined this moment aplenty. Far too many times. Not just on her infrequent jaunts to London but most days since they’d parted. The man had lingered in her thoughts, despite every effort to expel him.

Taking a shaky breath, she braced herself and faced him.

He’d always been tall. When they were children, she’d looked up to him. Literally. But he’d never used his size to bully others. More often he’d born teasing about his physique. Ungainly, his father had called him, and Kit repeated the word when referring to himself.

Now he offered no apologetic hunch in his stance. He didn’t cross his arms to narrow his body. More than embracing his size, he wielded his generous dimensions with a virile grace that made Phee’s mouth water. He stood with his long legs planted wide, shoulders thrown back. His chest was so broad that she itched to touch it.

Stop being a ninny, she chided herself. The most essential observation was that he did not look like a man who’d pined for her. Not a hint of guilt shadowed his gaze.

He thrust his hands behind his back, and the buttons above his waistcoat strained against the fabric on either side, as if the muscles beneath were too sizable to contain. Phee’s gaze riveted to the spot, waiting to see which would win—the pearly buttons or the dove gray fabric. When sense finally wound its way into her boggled mind, she glanced up into gilded brown eyes. He was the winner, judging by the satisfied smirk cresting his mouth.

Kit stood too near, close enough for her to smell his scent. A familiar green, like fresh-cut grass, but mingled now with an aromatic spice. Each breath held his spice scent heightened by the warmth of his body. The heat of him radiated against her chest.

His eyes were too intense, too hungry. He perused her brazenly, studying the hem of her outdated gown before his gaze roved up her legs, paused at her waist, lingered on her bosom, and caught for a moment on her lips. Finally, he met her eyes, and his mouth flicked up in a shameless grin.

She looked anywhere but at his eyes. On his neck, she noted the scar from a childhood adventure in the blackberry briar. Then she got stuck admiring his hair. Apparently his scandalous London lifestyle—if the rumors she’d heard were true—called for allowing his jet black hair to grow long and ripple in careless waves. Strands licked at his neck, curled up near his shoulders.

Time had been truly unfair. The years hadn’t weathered Kit at all. If anything, his features were sharper and more appealing. His Roman nose contrasted with the sensual fullness of his lips and those high Ruthven cheekbones. And his eyes. Gold and amber and chocolate hues chased each other around a pinwheel, all shadowed by enviably thick ebony lashes. One theater reviewer had written of the “power of his penetrating gaze.”

Ophelia only knew he’d once been able to see straight to her heart.

Retreating from his magnetic pull, she dipped her head and stared at his polished black boots, the neatly tailored cuffs of his trousers. Black as pitch, his clothing reminded her why he was here. He’d come to the village to bury his father. He was no doubt as eager to return to London as she was to close her eyes and make the too tempting sight of him disappear. But why had he come to her home?

“My condolences to you and your sisters,” she offered, and almost added Mr. Ruthven. That’s what everyone in the village would call him now, and they would expect him to live up to the name. Just as his father had.

“You didn’t attend the funeral.”

“Would your father have wished me to?” They both knew Kit’s father had never welcomed her presence in his life. She didn’t bother mentioning that Ruthven’s rule book explicitly instructed ladies to avoid funerals.

He shrugged. “I only know what I wished.”

There it was. The heart of all that had passed between them spelled out in six words. Kit had never doubted what he wanted—freedom, fame as a playwright, financial success on his own terms. Unfortunately, she’d never made it high enough on his list.

“Forgive me for missing your father’s funeral. I promise to call on your sisters soon.” Ophelia slid the door toward him, forcing him to retreat as she eased it closed. “Thank you for your visit.”

Pushing his sizable booted foot forward, he wedged it between the door and its frame. “I don’t think we can count this as a visit until you invite me in.”

GIVEAWAY:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

christyFueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

51vmq9hk1xl-_sl300_Title: Lord of Scoundrels
Author: Loretta Chase
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Kate Reading

Blurb:

They call him many names, but angelic isn’t one of them.

Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know. No respectable woman would have anything to do with the “Bane and Blight of the Ballisters”, and he wants nothing to do with respectable women. He’s determined to continue doing what he does best – sin and sin again – and all’s going swimmingly…until the day a shop door opens and she walks in.

She’s too intelligent to fall for the worst man in the world.

Jessica Trent is a determined young woman, and she’s going to drag her imbecile brother off the road to ruin, no matter what it takes. If saving him – and with him her family and future – means taking on the devil himself, she won’t back down. The trouble is, the devil in question is so shockingly irresistible that the person who needs saving most is Jessica herself.

MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely understand why this book lands at the top of so many historical romance best of lists, it really is a wonderful example of the genre.

The Marquess of Dain truly is a scoundrel, in every sense, and Jessica Trent is sassy, smart, determined, strong, and bold. She didn’t put up with Dain’s crap for a second. Their love story was believable and sexy. I loved their banter and inner thoughts were so witty and humorous, I found myself occasionally laughing out loud.

The cast of characters surrounding them were interesting and fun – especially Jessica’s grandmother.

The story has a Beauty & the Beast vibe that I am definitely feeling.

I’m going with 4 stars instead of 5 for the underlying “not like other women” theme that ran through the whole thing. I know this is a common theme in all romance, especially historical romance in which our heroines are usually well-bred virgins. It was, however, a bit too much in Lord of Scoundrels. I can accept a misogynist hero, changed by love, but I don’t like a heroine who joins in referring to every other woman as a tart, trollop, whore, etc – especially in this case. Jessica was extremely close to her sexually liberated grandmother and they both seemed to relish in shocking her brother with their openness about lust and sexuality, so it was pretty disappointing that once Jessica was married, we couldn’t go a chapter without her calling another woman a tart.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Kate Reading, who performed the story wonderfully.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

61rvm6tns3l-_sl300_Title: Say Yes to the Marquess
Series: Castles Ever After
Author: Tessa Dare
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Carmen Rose

Blurb:

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and… and…?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She’s inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother – even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride’s cold feet?

  • He starts with flowers. Ladies can’t have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
  • He lets her know she’ll make a beautiful, desirable bride – and tries not to picture her as his.
  • He doesn’t kiss her.
  • If he kisses her, he definitely doesn’t kiss her again.
  • When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown and vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
  • And no matter what, he doesn’t fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

MY THOUGHTS

A wonderful romance, a cast of (mostly) lovable characters – including a seemingly immortal bulldog, an interesting and sensical plot, plenty of laughs, plenty of steam. I would recommend this whole series, even to those who don’t typically enjoy historical romance.

Many historical romance authors try to create Strong Female Leads, but fall short of independence, settling for headstrong. Tessa Dare, though, crafts heroines who are truly independent, demonstrating that “independent” doesn’t mean “alone”. While the third book in this series, When a Scot Ties the Knot, is my favourite story, Cleo and Rafe are my favourite couple. The way Cleo values and believes in herself, despite her family telling her she’s not good enough and her betrothed never making good on his promises, was moving. Rafe, on the other hand, holds himself in rather low-esteem. It’s lovely to have a couple save each other and life one another up the way Cleo and Rafe do.

I listened to this audiobook and Carmen Rose has a lovely voice. Her characterizations are fun to listen to and don’t go over the top. She is clearly a skilled voice actor and I look forward to listening to her more. However, she speaks reeeeeaaaaallly slowly, so I listen to her at 1.6x speed.