Aug 5, 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway: A Fashionable Indulgence by K. J. Charles



A Fashionable Indulgence
A Society of Gentlemen # 1
By: K.J. Charles
Releasing August 11, 2015
Loveswept





Blurb

In the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power, and manipulation.

When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.

After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion.

Buy Links
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Excerpt 
Silas made a face. “Alexander Vane married Euphemia Gordon. You were born a Vane, you lived as a Gordon, not hard to make the link. It doesn’t make a difference, lad. They’ve nothing, or they’d have arrested you by now. Keep a closed mouth and no harm will befall, understand?”
“Right.” Harry felt a sinking sensation in his gut. “Yes. Right. Uh, Silas . . .”
There was a short pause.
“Hell’s tits.” Silas took his hand off Harry’s shoulder. “What did you do, you bloody fool?”
“Nothing!” Harry protested. “Really, it wasn’t much.” He swallowed, aware this would not sound impressive. “I was in the Spotted Cat—”
“Were you tupping the barmaid?” George asked eagerly.
“No.” Harry had, a few times, and he’d hoped to do so again last night, but he’d found himself rejected for a man with a catskin waistcoat and a pocketful of silver. “I went for a jug of ale and a man bumped into me. Spilled my drink. Bought me another.”
“For Christ’s sake.” Silas growled in his throat. “How many drinks?”
A lot. Much of it gin. Harry had had the devil’s own head all day, but that was nothing compared to the lurking fear that he’d said something he shouldn’t. “Uh, a few. We talked, idly.” Silas gave him a look of combined exasperation and resignation that made Harry flush. “I didn’t say anything of importance! Nothing about here. Just, uh, about my travels on the Continent.”
“Did you tell him who your parents were?”
“No.” Harry swallowed. “But I did say that they were . . . political.”
“Blast you, Harry.” Silas put his hands through his cropped, grizzled hair. “Who was this fellow?”
“I don’t know. He had red hair, like a Scotsman, but an English voice. Slim. Brown eyes. He said his name was . . . something odd, what was it . . . Cyprian? Do you know him?”
Silas shook his head. “If he’s an informer, he’s a new one. No less dangerous for it. You’re a damned fool.”
“I’m sorry. I just wanted a drink.”
Harry sounded plaintive. He felt plaintive. Since the cholera had taken his parents and left him orphaned in Paris, aged seventeen and a known democratic agitator, life had been hand to mouth. He’d returned to London, hoping things might be easier there, but men and women were out of work across all of England thanks to the new machines, the endless taxes, and the war. There had been no work for a friendless youth. He’d had only the old radical crowd to turn to, and that was no great comfort, with the law ever harsher against them.
Harry hadn’t wanted to be a radical again. He didn’t want the fight, the fear, any of it. But his heart had lightened with that old boyhood feeling—or, rather, illusion—of safety when he’d come back to Theobald’s Bookshop for the first time in more than a decade. When he’d walked in and seen Silas there, grizzled and lined now as befitted his forty years, but still thick-muscled and indomitable, still setting his face against the world, it had felt like coming home.
Not an easy home. Silas’s rough, powerful embrace, once he recognized the hungry young man in Frenchy rags, had been all the welcome Harry could have hoped for, and he’d given Harry work and what wages he could without question, but he would never be a comfortable man to live with. It didn’t surprise Harry that nobody dared try.
Silas was glaring at him now as though it were a crime for a man to seek a jug of ale and a warm body to hold. Harry hadn’t even had the latter, since the barmaid had preferred coin to compliments.
It had crossed his mind last night that his drinking companion, the fellow Cyprian, might be amenable. Harry wasn’t at all averse to a man in his bed when he couldn’t have a woman, and Cyprian was quite appealing in a foxy sort of way, except for that dreadful hair. Thank God that, even in his befuddled state, Harry had decided not to make an approach. Sedition was bad enough; sodomy could see a man hanged.
“Nothing happened. I’m sure I didn’t say anything important,” Harry told himself as much as Silas. “It was probably innocent. Just a man wanting company.”
Silas grunted. “Well, we’ll face trouble when it comes. Enough of this nonsense, back to work. Watch your back. And don’t sup with strangers again.”


Romancing the Readers would like to thank K. J. Charles for visiting with us! Show her some love! 

My new book, A Fashionable Indulgence, is the first of a trilogy set in 1819-20. This is a remarkable period in English history, which you don’t tend to see in Jane Austen adaptations on TV.
England was in turmoil at the end of the Regency period. The Industrial Revolution and the aftereffects of the Napoleonic Wars had caused widespread poverty, political unrest, and popular demands for change.
The government of the time was openly preoccupied with maintaining the power of the incredibly wealthy few at the expense of pretty much everyone else. People were literally starving in the streets, while the rich lived in unimaginable luxury and gambled fortunes on such subjects as which of two raindrops would reach the bottom of a windowpane first. (On that famous occasion the sum wagered was equivalent to about $200,000 now. Yes, I meant all those zeroes. Yes, on a raindrop.)
It turned to violence, inevitably. In August 1819 a huge but peaceful crowd of protesters for parliamentary reform were charged down by sabre-wielding cavalry sent in by frightened magistrates, killing around 14 people and injuring more than 500. There was popular outrage at what was quickly dubbed the Peterloo Massacre; in response the Government introduced the Six Acts, perhaps the most repressive legislation ever passed in the UK, aimed at stamping out protest meetings and writing against the regime.
And through it all the aristocrats danced on, in their glittering existence of balls, silks and scandal.
The Society of Gentlemen trilogy is set between these worlds, with the wealthy few clinging to power, and the radicals fighting for change. In A Fashionable Indulgence, young radical Harry Vane discovers his noble birth and is lifted out of poverty into the clubs and ballrooms, with dandy Julius Norreys helping him to become a gentleman. Harry must learn proper behaviour, conceal his past, and make a good marriage, all the while keeping his hands off the icy exquisite who’s teaching him. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as all that…


Author Info
K. J. Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden, and an increasingly murderous cat.


Author Links
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


 Giveaway Time!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

To Follow the Tour

This tour is for...


Special Announcement From Kelly Elliott

   brokenlovebanner

When Kelly Elliott started to write Broken Love she decided what better way to write this fan wanted book than to let readers help write it!! Every 3-4 weeks Kelly will write a few chapters and at the end there will be a few questions and the readers can vote which direction this novella will go. Here is the Prologue at the end is a link to take you to the questions. ENJOY!!! 


Read the PROLOGUE and Vote here


Prologue – Ava 

Nothing about my relationship with Johnny was normal. We met and fell in love immediately. He asked me to marry him on our two-month anniversary and I said yes. My mother cried, and my father lectured me for three hours straight. He kept repeating, “This isn’t normal, Ava.”

What was normal anyway? 

According to my father, knowing someone at least six months before agreeing to marry him or her was normal. I, of course, disagreed and let my whirlwind relationship with Johnny totally blind me of what I couldn’t see before my very eyes. 

As I stood in front of four different cakes, I couldn’t help but glance around the bakery. Johnny and I were having a small wedding, held at his parent’s country club in Austin. His mother had insisted we not elope, which was exactly what we had both wanted to do.

Turning my attention to Johnny, I watched as he talked to the young redhead who had been helping us. 

“So, have you narrowed it down?” she asked as she smiled brightly at Johnny and barely acknowledged I was there. 

With a shrug of his shoulder, Johnny turned to me and said, “Ava, could I possibly talk to you outside for a moment?” 

I gave Johnny a slight smile as I nodded my head. “Of course.” 

Johnny placed his hand on my lower back and guided me out of the bakery. I frowned as I thought how his hand on my lower back should cause my stomach to dip. At least that is how it is for the girls in the romance books I read. The touch of his hand on my body should ignite my body in flames. 

Ha! I’d never experienced those feelings before in my entire life. There was a reason it was called fiction. 

As we stepped out of the bakery, I flashed him a smile as I decided maybe what we needed was some afternoon delight. Placing my hand on his chest, I licked my lips and purred, “I know something else I’d rather be tasting.” 

Johnny looked away as he stared down the street with an empty look in his eyes. “Ava, I need to talk to you.”

My smile faded as I instantly gnawed on my lower lip. His voice was serious and I had a terrible feeling he was about to say something that was going to prove my father right. 

“Okay, right now or after we pick out a cake?” 

Johnny looked into my eyes and shook his head. “I need to be honest with you, Ava.” 

My heart sank as I held my breath involuntarily before finding the air to speak again. “Honesty is always nice.” 

As he closed his eyes I fought to hold back the tears I knew were about to fall. 

“There’s someone else. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did. She's amazing and she makes me feel alive.” 

Anger quickly raced through my body as I took a step back. “Is that so? Kind of like how I made you feel alive? Or does she make you feel alive in some other kind of way?” 

Shaking his head, Johnny let out a sigh. “I’ve known Lisa almost my whole life. We ran into each other about a month ago and well, things just sparked between us.”

I placed my hand over my stomach and let out a moan. “Oh. My. God. You’ve been cheating on me?” 

“No! Well, I mean it wasn’t like I did it on purpose. We fell in love, Ava and I can’t deny how I feel about her. I’ve only slept with her twice.”

My mouth dropped open as I stared at him with a blank expression. “Are you kidding me right now? Are you really that big of a dick that you would actually tell me you’ve only slept with her twice? Is that some how supposed to make me feel better you dickhead?” 

Johnny glanced around as he took me by the arm and started walking toward his Audi. I hated that car. I hated him. I hated that my father had been right. 

“I would have thought you would have been happy that I told you this before we got married.” 

Holy freaking hell. 

What did I ever see in this jerk? 

Letting out a chuckle, I nodded. “No, you’re right. Better you told me before I went off and married you and God forbid had a child with you.” 

“Ava, you have to admit this was all rushed. We got caught up in the whole romance side of things and lost focus on reality.”

“Reality? You think I’ve lost focus on reality? You know what’s real, Johnny?” 

He lifted his hand and gently placed it on the side of my face. His thumb moved ever so slow as his eyes softened. “The pain you’re feeling right now, Ava. I know this hurts, but baby you’re going to find someone else.” 

He did not. No. He. Did. Not. 

“You got one part of that right. Pain. But it’s not the pain I’m feeling, it’s the pain you're about to feel you asshole.” 

I lifted my knee and hit him right in the balls. I hadn’t seen a guy go down on one knee since I accidentally hit Walker in the balls with a golf club. 

Johnny doubled over as he cried out in pain. 

“Have a happy life with, Lisa.” 

Turning on my heels, I walked away quickly. Not sure whether I should cry or scream, I pulled out my phone and dialed the one person I knew would understand.

My mother. 

“Hey baby girl. How did the cake tasting go? Did you pick out a cake?” 

Pressing my lips together, I tried to figure out how to deliver the blow. “No. But I did kick Johnny in the balls out on the sidewalk in front of the bakery.”

Silence.

“You remember that time I hit Walker with the golf club.”

 “Yes,” my mother said slowly. 

“Picture that. He went down on one knee pretty damn fast.” 

“What happened?” 

Rolling my eyes, I wiped the tears away. “He met someone else. Someone who made him feel alive. He had sex with her mom. The bastard cheated on me. I hate him.” 

“Oh sweetheart. I’m so sorry this has happened to you. Baby, why don’t you head on home and spend a few days with us, I know your father would love to have you home.”

Laughing, I shook my head and said, “Oh I’m sure he would. The second he sees me he’s going to say I told you so.”

“He would not, Ava Moore. You’re father loves you and cares about you.” 

Closing my eyes tightly, I whispered, “I know.” 

Before I had a chance to open my eyes, I slammed into someone. My eyes flew open as my phone flew out of my hands and I let out a curse word. 

“Shit!”

I had been stopped dead in my tracks. Dropping down, I reached for my phone and for the papers I’d just caused this man to drop. As I lifted my eyes, I sucked in a breath of air. 

Beautiful hazel eyes stared into my blue. “I-I’m so sorry,” I said as I handed him a few pieces of paper. 

The smile that spread across his face caused the earth to shake. Okay, not really, but it felt like it. I almost fell back onto my ass as I tried to contain the crazy feeling that zipped through my body when his hand brushed lightly across mine.

“I wasn’t looking where I was going,” I said as he helped me into a standing position. 

The beautiful mystery man pinned me with his stare. My eyes roamed his perfect face. He was slightly tan, but I couldn’t tell if that was from the sun or his genes. His dark hair had that perfect messy look to it as he ran his hand through it and laughed. 

“You don’t say? It’s not every day I run into a beautiful lady. I believe my day has officially been made.” 

His voice sounded like an angel. 

Okay, so I don’t really know what an angel would sound like, but if I could imagine it, I’d say this guy had it down. It was soft, yet masculine. Sexy, yet, compassionate. 

“I’m glad,” I whispered. 

He lifted his eyebrows and tiled his head as his eyes landed on my lips. “Glad you ran into me?” 

My cell phone began ringing in my hand as I lifted it up to see it was my mother. Shit! I’d forgotten she was on the line. Giving him an awkward smile, I said, “No! Well, yes. No wait, I’m glad your day has been made … by me running into you.” 

Oh dear God, Ava. Stop talking. Lifting my phone, I grinned and said, “It’s my mom.” 

“May I at least get your name?” 

My teeth sunk down into my lip as I let out a soft chuckle. “Ava.” 

Mystery man’s eyes lit up as he gave me a slight nod, followed by the sexiest wink I’d ever seen. He lifted his hand to my chin and forced my eyes to his. If I hadn’t been acutely aware of every single action he made, I’d have missed his thumb move lightly over my bottom lip. 

“The pleasure was most definitely mine, Ava.” 

The stupid goofy grin on my face was evident as he chuckled, dropped his hand, and began walking off as I stood there in a stupor. 

My phone rang again as I hit answer and whispered, “Hello?” 

“Ava, are you okay? What happened?” 

I shook my head to clear my thoughts as I glanced over my shoulder at my mystery man walking away from me. Getting a grip on myself, I headed toward my car. I was so thankful I had suggested meeting Johnny at the bakery. 

“Sorry, Mom. I accidentally ran into someone. Hey, I think I’m going to do what you said. I need a few days of fresh country air. Besides, I can work from anywhere.” 

I could practically hear my mother jumping. “Oh yah! When are you coming?”

“Today. I just need to go to my place and pack a bag.” 

“Okay, sweetheart. Be careful driving, and we’ll see you in a few hours. Oh, I’ll make your favorite dinner!”

Reaching my car, I turned around again. I wasn’t sure why. Maybe I was hoping my mystery man would be standing there. 

“Sounds great, Mom. I’ll let you know when I’m on my way. I love you, Mom.”

 “I love you too, Ava. We’ll have you forgetting Johnny in no time.” 

Slipping into the drivers seat, I started my car and said, “Johnny who?” 


 *** Copyright 2015 Broken Love Kelly Elliott***





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.


This tour is for...


 

Aug 4, 2015

Release Day: A Lady's Guide to Skirting Scandal by Kelly Bowen


A Lady's Guide to Skirting Scandal
by Kelly Bowen
Grand Central Publishing










About A LADY’S GUIDE TO SKIRTING SCANDAL
Lady Viola Hextall is bored - of the sea, her chaperones, and the woeful lack of available dukes on the ocean voyage from London to New York. Scrambling for any diversion short of jumping overboard, Viola strikes up a conversation with the ship's rough-hewn, blue-eyed surgeon - and discovers an immediate cure for what ails her...

To Nathaniel Shaw, Viola has the bearing of a lady and the spirit of an adventurer - an unlikely combination that he finds utterly irresistible. So he's hoping to convince Viola to leave the stifling ballrooms of London high society behind because there is a big, wide world just waiting for them to explore – together.


About Kelly Bowen
Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.  But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance.  When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields. Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process.  Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.