Blitz + Giveaway: Debutante

Davenport House Prequel: Debutante
Marie Silk
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.

While her father is away on business, sixteen-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family’s mansion. As the day of Mary’s debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary’s mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.

In a shantytown hours away, a young girl called Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker’s wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.

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Special release price of 99¢!

AND: Each book in the series will be on sale for 99¢ between April 22-27!

 

Author Bio:

Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. Marie is the author of the best selling Davenport House family saga.

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Blitz + Giveaway: Last Semester

Last Semester
Corine Mekaouche
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

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EXCERPT:

“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.

Shit!

I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.

“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”

Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.

“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.

“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.

Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.

Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out?

I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.

It’s official.

I killed my roommate.

Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill…and probably drove off a cliff or something…

Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?

The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.

“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”

Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.

Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!

Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.

“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”

“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.

I’m frozen.

 

Author Bio:

The geek and a dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City..

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Blitz + Giveaway: Beautiful Sacrifice

Beautiful Sacrifice
Ember Raine Winters
(Pride and Honor, #2)
Publication date: April 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Tasha
Being a cop, I didn’t have any choice, but I really wish I hadn’t got mixed up in this case. My dark past is catching up to me ever since he barreled into my life without a care. It terrifies me that he sees right through me. He could be the one to save me . . . or break me.

Twitch
It was just a job. Until it wasn’t. By then the sexy little redhead had her claws in me. Now, she’s in my life and I’m lost. How am I supposed to keep the demons from her past from eating her alive? I don’t know, but I will do whatever it takes to make her mine.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

It happened again. I didn’t think a person could dream when they were that drunk. I was wrong. She let out a blood-curdling scream, and I jumped from my spot on the couch and ran into the bedroom. I was looking around wildly for any possible threat, when I noticed Tasha thrashing and whimpering in the bed.

“Tasha? Tasha!” I bellowed.

I walked over to the bed and brushed the hair from her face and watched as she settled. Walking around the bed, I figured I’d stay and make sure another nightmare didn’t come back. I leaned up against the headboard and watched her sleep for a bit. I was drowning.

I couldn’t believe how much this woman had gotten under my skin. I didn’t like it, but as I sat there looking at her sleep, her scarlet locks framing the pillow, I knew I was done for. I would do anything to protect her, even from herself.

Everyone joked and talked crap about how I reacted in times of stress, but I learned that from living in foster care and on the streets. I became that way after having to not only watch my back, but also watch Kelly’s as well. It did me a great deal of good in the military. I just wished I knew what to do to help Tasha.

“GO, go, go!” I screamed at Kelly as we ran down an alley.

We had a really big ugly dude on our tail. I was pretty sure he was after Kelly. She was a cute little thing, and we had our fair share of big guys trying to take advantage of her.

We ran down the alley and came to a busy street. There were people everywhere so we slowed our pace.

“Do you think we lost him?” she asked with a tremor in her voice.

I wrapped an arm around her and continued down the street. I could tell she was scared. I hated that she came with me. She actually had a decent family this time. Mine had sucked and the guy had tried to hurt me several times.

When I told Kelly what was happening, she insisted that we take off again—she was a persistent little thing. Finally I agreed after the guy punched me in the face, blackening my eye.

“I don’t know, Tink,” I sighed and hugged her closer.

A moment later she was ripped from my arm and I turned around to see Big Ugly with his meaty paw wrapped around her biceps. She squealed in pain and was thrashing against him. I saw red.

“Let her go!” I raged and stepped forward.

He laughed then. The sound grated on my already fried nerves. I was looking around. It wasn’t good to cause a scene in the middle of a busy street. If someone called the cops, we would be going back to foster care.

It didn’t matter that the guy was roughly pulling Kelly down a sidestreet, struggling all the while. I walked up behind him and punched him in the back of the head as hard as I could.

“What the fuck?” he yelled and swung around with a right cross, but I ducked under his arm and plowed into his middle. He got me from behind, and each blow he delivered to my back felt like I was getting hit by a truck, but I refused to let go. Once he had me on the ground, he flipped me over and straddled my waist as he rained blow after blow on my head and chest. I vaguely heard Kelly’s panicked screams. I was covering my face in an attempt to ward off his punches when everything went black.

My eyes shot open as I looked around wildly. I didn’t recognize anything in the room I was sleeping in. After a few minutes, I relaxed when I noticed Tasha asleep in the bed next to me.

I hadn’t even realized that I had fallen asleep sitting up, until Tasha rolled over and moaned.

“Twitch? What are you doing here?” She yawned.

“Sorry, you had a nightmare. I came in to try to calm you. I must have fallen asleep.” I put my legs over the bed and stood up.

“It’s okay, just stop screaming at me,” she groaned.

I chuckled and then I went to the bathroom. Grabbing a bottle of water and aspirin, I walked back to the bed and handed them to her.

“Thanks.” She popped the aspirin in her mouth and downed the bottle of water. “I don’t really remember much of last night. I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable,” she said shyly.

“No worries. I have dealt with many drunk people before. You were fine,” I laughed.

“Ugh,” she groaned. “I let her get to me.”

“I figured that. You okay?” I asked, making sure to lower my voice.

“Yup, I’m here to do a job. That’s all!” She was getting fired up. “I’m not going to let her and her selfish need for my forgiveness get to me.”

“Okay, well, you feeling good enough to get this show on the road then?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” she said sitting up, stopping for a second as if noticing something for the first time and looked at me accusingly.

“Did you undress me?”

“Nope, that was all you,” I chuckled. “Carried you to the bed after you passed out on the sofa, but you woke up and started stripping. I hightailed it out of here as soon as I realized what was happening. I only came back in when I heard your nightmare.”

She looked around, seemingly for the first time, and saw her clothes and shoes sprawled across the floor and shook her head.

“This is why I never drink whiskey,” she sighed dramatically.

“You drank whiskey?” I asked flabbergasted.

“Yeah, and a lot of it.” she replied. “Can you leave so I can get dressed, please?”

“Sure thing.”

 

Author Bio:

Ember Raine Winters is a new author who just self published her first book. She went to community college to study political science and philosophy. She is currently taking classes to get her BS in business majoring in Sports management. She is an avid reader mostly fantasy and science fiction with a little romance thrown in as well. She loves writing Science Fiction mainly dystopian but is trying her hand in Fantasy as well.

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Blitz + Giveaway: Serenade

Serenade
Heather McKenzie
(The Nightmusic Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.

Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.

Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…

An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.

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EXCERPT:

This was it, now or never.

I gathered every single ounce of energy I had and steadied my mind to ignore the pain in my foot and the dizziness in my head. Then, with everything I had, I turned and bolted toward the dense forest. The darkness instantly enveloped me. I could see well enough not to run into tree trunks, but branches caught me at every turn. My head felt as if it was spinning like a top, but I forced my legs to keep going. I could hear the men’s voices yelling at each other in an organized manner.

I tripped and found myself on all fours. Get up, girl. There’s nothing wrong with you—get up…

I made it a few more steps before my head connected with a blue spruce, and then I collapsed in a pathetic heap. My arms were so wobbly I could barely wipe at the gash across my forehead. My body was completely failing me. I prayed to God that the dog would just snap my neck and get it over with quickly…

Human footsteps approached. I gulped in some air and tried to push myself up, but the world tipped on its side and I fell with it. Within moments, large hands had my wrists pinned to the ground. I struggled and fought with everything I had left, which wasn’t much.

“Stop fighting,” he said.

His voice created such confusion inside me. I kicked harder.

“Stop… please,” he begged.

His body pinned mine to the ground. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.

“Please, Kaya, trust me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise.” He leaned forward and pressed his sleeve to my bleeding forehead, dabbing and inspecting it closely while I had no choice but to gaze up him. How could this beautiful man be a kidnapper? It just didn’t fit.

“It’s just a scratch; no stitches required,” he said, voice trailing off as his eyes met mine.

We stayed like that for a while: me on the ground, him kneeling over me, and our line of sight only on each other—until an unmistakable sound broke through the tree tops.

“They’ll find me,” I said softly, wondering if Oliver was in the helicopter circling over our heads.

He positioned his arms under my body, and, in one graceful motion, he picked me up and into his arms. “Just don’t run. Promise me that, please. I’ll keep you safe. You have my word. Okay?”

He held me tightly—protectively—waiting eagerly for my reply with turmoil in his blue eyes. My whole body hurt, and admittedly, I couldn’t have walked another inch. The wolves or that beast would have got to me long before Oliver would have. I was at my kidnapper’s mercy, laying helplessly in his arms and falling harder for him by the second.

“I promise,” I said.

 

Author Bio:

Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.

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Blitz + Giveaway: The Gentleman’s Promise

The Gentleman’s Promise
Frances Fowlkes
(Daughters of Amhurst, #3)
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

A social pariah due to her scandalous activities, Lady Sarah Beauchamp yearns for redemption to obtain a husband. The assistance of Society darling Mr. Jonathon Annesley gives her hope of success. However, the more effort he puts into helping her, the more she realizes the only esteem she wishes to earn is that of the handsome Jonathon. However, her reputation would potentially ruin his political aspirations.

Offering a gentleman’s promise to help his sister’s friend regain the favor of the ton should be easy for son of a viscount, Jonathon Annesley. After all, he’s well liked and considered a rising star in Parliament. Until he learns Sarah’s ultimate goal is a husband. No man is good enough and could ever appreciate her for all she is. But she is not for him—his focus rests solely on gaining reforms for society’s weakest members. Yet, a promise made cannot be broken…

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Author Bio:

After viewing her all-time favorite love story, “Anne of Green Gables”, at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of “highfaluting mumbo jumbo” written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.

When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.

Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.

A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.

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Blitz + Giveaway: Dating the It Guy

Dating the It Guy
Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

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EXCERPT:

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

 

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

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Blitz + Necklace Giveaway: Queen of Emeralds

Queen of Emeraldsz
Kelsey McKnight
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical

British heiress Charlotte Holloway never had any interest in marrying…

However, a woman in Victorian England spends her life in the control of men, making finding a husband necessary. Fearing his daughter losing everything when he dies, Charlotte’s father forces a match with an old friend, Richard Howard. But Richard is much more interested in an heir than a wife, and will do anything to continue his bloodline.

Beaten and battered, Charlotte sees no way out of the union…

Then the handsome Scottish laird Conner MacLeod crashes the social scene. He sets her body on fire with a mere touch, but he has a bad reputation of leaving a string of women in his wake. Nonetheless, when Conner offers his emerald queen sanctuary in his Highland castle, Charlotte flees with him into the night, escaping her marriage. But those who wish to trap her are never far behind.

The Highlands give her hope, but fill her life with new perils…

She and Conner begin growing closer, although the shadows of his former relationships haunt her. Still, the magnetic forces that pull them together are making it harder for her to stay away. And just as Charlotte is beginning to settle into her life, she learns someone wants her gone for good and will do so…by any means necessary.

When Charlotte escapes one marriage only to find herself on the cusp of another, will she ever be free?

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EXCERPT:

When Penelope was whirled away for a dance by some lord’s youngest son, Charlotte took the opportunity to slip away from the crush and make a hasty exit out to a balcony door. Her head had begun to spin and she feared she might be sick from the drink if she couldn’t get out of the stifling crowd. The balcony was large and its stone railing wrapped around most of the lavish building her father owned. The new electric streetlights illuminated the foggy London streets with a dim yellow glow. The large glass doors that led inside did surprisingly much to mute the loud music and Charlotte was grateful for the cold winter breeze and bit of privacy the balcony offered.

She pulled off the long white gloves she wore and leaned against the railing, inhaling large gulps of fresh air. “How I wish this was all over,” she whispered to the empty streets.

“How can ye wish your own party to be done?” A deep voice asked from the most shadowed of corners.

Charlotte turned around, her light purple skirts flying with the quick motion. “Who’s there?”

A tall man stepped from the darkened place where he had sat on a stone bench. His loose blond hair brushed his shoulders and his blue eyes seemed to flash brightly in the dark. He wore a black military jacket and a sharp yellow and black kilt that looped about his shoulder and was fastened with a silver and emerald pin. Traditional high socks covered his strong legs. A short sword was fastened to his hip by a rugged leather belt and his hand lay casually on its silver hilt. “Conner MacLeod. Chief o’ the MacLeod clan.”

“Charlotte Holloway, daughter of the Duke of Glenwood,” Charlotte answered, stunned by the strange dress and deep Scottish lilt. She wasn’t sure where he had come from, as he certainly would have stood out in the crowd of morning coats and ball gowns. She tried to advert her eyes from the bare swatch of leg that showed between his socks and kilt but could hardly bring herself to look away.

“I know who ye are, of course. This entire party is in your honor. But, I must ask…why do ye wish it over so soon?”

“I’m not much for balls.”

“A pretty lass like you? How can ye no’ be much for balls?” His lips curled in a mischievous smirk. “Do you not like the pomp and circumstance?”

Charlotte felt her cheeks grow warm and she wasn’t sure if it was from the drink or the way the Scotsman looked at her from under his dark lashes. All the same, she sensed in him a kindred spirits of sorts. “I’m not much for society at all. I’d rather be out riding or reading a good book than be stuffed in this dress meeting every eligible bachelor in the city.”

He laughed deeply. “I admire your honesty. Not many lasses are willin’ to admit when a party does no’ suit them.”

“I assume the party doesn’t suit you much either?”

“Not much. Us Scots have been tryin’ to be more respected in our own right. One o’ the ways to do that is to spend a bit o’ time with the English. Make them see we’re not all barbarians.”

“Ah, fraternizing with the enemy?” Charlotte could almost hear Penelope chastising her for speaking so familiarly to a man, and about politics at that!

“Ye could say that.” He brushed his hands through his hair and leaned against the railing beside her, looking over the side. “Ye aren’t cold out here in the night air?”

“No, I rather like being outside no matter what the weather is.” She took another deep breath. “Besides, I do think I drank a bit too much punch.”

“And danced with a few too many borin’ men, most like.”

She giggled, despite being told a hundred times by Abigail that it was very unladylike to do so without shielding your face with a fan. “I suppose that might have something to do with it. But, that’s the job of a duke’s daughter.”

Conner stepped toward her and extended his hand. “Well, since we are both trapped at this comin’ out party, we may as well have a bit o’ fun. Fancy a dance, Lady Glenwood?”

Charlotte took his rough, warm hand in her own. His palms were worn, much unlike those of English gentlemen with their silky smooth hands kept clean in powdered gloves. This man was obviously used to physical activity and hard work. She kept their hands together before remembering she had removed her gloves and left them on the railing. “Oh, I’m sorry!” She pulled away from his grasp before slipping her fingers inside her gloves once more.

“You ladies and your gloves. Scared o’ touchin’ anythin’ without a barrier o’ silk?” he teased.

“I hate them, personally. However, one must play the part at times.”

“And what part are ye playin’?”

“The part of a dutiful daughter.”

“Then it looks to me that you are doin’ a right fine job.” He offered his arm, which she gladly took. “Now, my lady, let’s go have us a dance.”

***

The room hushed slightly as Charlotte entered on Chief Conner MacLeod’s arm. Penelope watched, wide-eyed, as the couple began a lively waltz with the other colorful pairs of dancing guests. Conner was an animated dancer and whirled Charlotte around the floor with surprising ease for someone as rugged as he. She was enjoying herself so greatly that she hardly notice the strange looks some of the guests gave them, nor the look of disapproval on Abigail’s tightly pinched face.

His hands clutched her closely, perhaps closer than was really appropriate. He grinned with the self-confidence that only good-looking men rightly had and gazed at Charlotte with true merriment in his sapphire eyes. Conner didn’t attempt the usual small talk that most men would try during a dance, but just let their mutual joy at having a fine partner fill in the silence between them.

“What a crowd,” Conner whispered into her ear as the music winded down and the dancing couples slowed to a halt. “Ye would think they’d never seen a pair o’ dancers before.”

Charlotte felt a chill go up her spine that she tried to ignore. “I suppose your appearance has caused quite the titter. I must say, we do not see very many Scottish Lords and it always is the surprise.”

“I suppose the man approachin’ us would agree with ye.”

“I am here to collect my dance.” Richard Howard’s monotone voice greeted Charlotte’s back.

Conner dipped a short bow and lightly kissed Charlotte’s hand. Even through the silk of her glove, she felt the heat of his mouth on her skin. “A pleasure, my lady.”

Charlotte blushed again and felt bold enough to ask, “If you stay longer, perhaps we might dance again?”

“Perhaps,” he answered smoothly as he backed away into the crowd. “Perhaps.”

 

Kelsey McKnight is a university-educated historian from southern New Jersey. She has married her great loves of romance, history, and literature to create her newly finished works. Her first books, “The Scottish Stone Series”, are coming in April of 2017 by Limitless Publishing. Book one is titled “Queen of Emeralds”, and is available now. “The Scottish Stone Series” take readers on a journey through the bustling streets of Victorian London and into the lush hills of the Scottish Highlands. Her second book, a contemporary romance titled “The Non-Disclosure Agreement”, will also be available in May of 2017 and feature a bad boy politician and the small town girl that could change his ways. When she’s not writing, Kelsey can be found reading, drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family, and working on two nonprofits.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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