Thursday, May 24, 2018

THE RENAISSANCE CLUB by Rachel Dacus

THE RENAISSANCE CLUB
by Rachel Dacus

Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate? That’s the question my heroine, May Gold must answer in this time travel love story. And she has to answer it in three short weeks, on a tour of Italy. A college adjunct teacher, she often dreams about the subject of her master’s thesis—17th century sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies, she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man whose passionate art invented the Baroque style. But in reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and older boyfriend. She considers herself a precocious failure and yearns to unleash her passion and creative spirit. May finds she has to choose: stay in a safe but stagnant existence or take a risk.

EXCERPT
“Signorina, please. I cannot concentrate. Do you not have something else to do?”

His open arrogance was true to his time, an era when powerful men flaunted their status to the point of rudeness. Bernini’s fame, even at his young age, was second only to the cardinals and popes he served. His arrogance had been legendary.

“I thought the church was open today,” she said.

“It is not open to you, unless you are applying to become my assistant. But you will not be any use to me in that long skirt.”

She looked down. She had acquired voluminous folds of blue silk, a dress she hadn’t been wearing before. She felt air on her shoulders—her dropped-sleeves left them bare. “Well, not in this I wouldn’t,” she said, appreciating the rustle and texture. “But I’m not applying. I just want to watch you work.”

He said more gently, “Are you a traveler? You do not look Roman.”

“Yes. I’m a traveler. From a long way away. I’m with a group touring Rome. It’s our first day. St. Peter’s is so gorgeous, I can’t believe it. The Baldacchino is one of your finest pieces.”

Ignoring the compliment, he said, “If you are a traveler, then please travel to some other masterpiece. This church has many.” He waved her away and picked up the rod, checking the column once more.

~Buy THE RENAISSANCE CLUB:

-Amazon
-B&N

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT RACHEL

Rachel Dacus is the author of The Renaissance Club, a novel called “Enchanting, rich and romantic…a poetic journey through the folds of time.” Dacus’ book Gods of Water and Air is a collection of poetry, prose, and drama. Her other poetry collections are Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner, The Pedestal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her fourth poetry collection, Arabesque, is forthcoming in August 2018 from FutureCycle Press. Read more on her website. Follow on Twitter @Rachel_Dacus.

GIVEAWAY

Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

LABORS OF AN EPIC PUNK by Mark and Sheri Dursin

LABORS OF AN EPIC PUNK
by Mark and Sheri Dursin

Mac is an epic punk. No wonder: after his dad went off to fight in the Trojan War and never came back, Mac spent his childhood evading his mom's scumbag suitors—all one-hundred-and-eight of them. Of course, he turned out this way—a moody, friendless sixteen-year-old who blows off work, alienates everyone at school, and pulls pranks. But when he trains a flock of birds to defecate on the headmaster, Mac (short for Telemachus) goes too far. The administrators give him an ultimatum: prove that he's truly the son of Odysseus by doing something heroic—or get out. A school story that just so happens to take place 3,000 years ago, Labors of an Epic Punk is a tale of friendship and transformation, regret and redemption, and a reminder to us all that even heroes need to survive adolescence.

EXCERPT
No one on the field that morning had any idea that all Hades was about to break loose.

Well, one person did.

The stands were over-crammed with students, all chirping away about their summer travels, each one trying to out-fabulous the other. But Mac wasn’t talking to any of them. (No surprise there.) Instead, he just stared at the empty stage in fist-clenching anticipation. For the entire morning, the entire summer, the entire two years he’d wasted at this gods-forsaken school, he’d been waiting for this moment. His moment of glory, of genius. The moment when he’d finally and irretrievably cross The Line— that hard-to-define boundary between tolerable and intolerable. Between a week of detention and expulsion. All he needed was for Headmaster Gurgus to blow on that shell.

Just when he thought he couldn’t wait any longer without throwing up, Mac heard the band play the opening notes to “Yielding Never,” Pieridian Academy’s absurdly overblown fight song. The Opening Ceremonies were officially underway. From his seat high up in the stands, Mac watched intently as the members of the so-called Grand Procession marched onto Garthymedes Field: the entire faculty and staff, wearing shiny red gowns and smiles full of phony reverence; followed by the honored students, also in ritualistic red, condescendingly waving at the crowd; followed by a grotesque, nine-headed Hydra.

Lastly, waddling ten paces behind the Hydra, in all his roly-poly, four-hundred pound glory, was Headmaster Gurgus.

~Buy LABORS OF AN EPIC PUNK on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
Move over Percy Jackson and co. There’s a new Greek kid in town. Mac’s the name (short for Telemachus), and while he may not be the child of a god, he’s the son of a hero, which is just as tough.

When I switched my college freshman seminar from something vaguely societal-sounding and “easy” to Homer’s Epics, my counsellor looked at me like I was nuts. “Why?” she asked. My response: “Because I love Greek myth.”

In short, I also loved this book. Mac’s transformation is fantastic. His entire character makes sense, and his relationship with his mom is the most beautiful parent-child relationship I’ve read in a long time. As the book’s description says, this is a school story that just happened to take place 3000 years ago. It’s ancient but modern, serious but funny. It’s everything I remember about every “I’m not good enough” teenage feeling I ever had, times a thousand. Mac’s under the ultimate pressure. It’s bad enough living up to normal standards. He has to live up to a great war hero’s image. It’s huge, and yet, while it was times a thousand, it was all just so normal. I could relate to Mac’s situation as clearly as if it were happening today.

I love Mac’s friend’s, too. Homer (yes, that Homer) is the friend who wants Mac to succeed but also to live vicariously through Mac’s heroism. Outgoing Theo and caring drama student Calliope are twins but so distinct as characters. Their sibling relationship comes off so well, too. And Andie. Oh, Andie. She has a special place in my heart. She has just as many emotional struggles as Mac, and I loved how their situations kind of mirrored each other. I loved watching their relationship blossom and grow into something truly spectacular.

The narration flows great. The dialogue is fresh and snappy. There’s plenty of action that’s set off by slower scenes of Mac and his crew learning to be a group of friends. I saw myself in some of these characters and was able to identify with them easily.

To sum up, I could probably think of something to criticize, but I’d have to really sit here and think—maybe read the book again and search for missing commas or something. This is the high school story about Odysseus’s son I never knew I wanted. The end ties everything up, which makes me a bit sad. I want a sequel so badly.

AN INTERVIEW WITH MARK AND SHERI
-What inspired you to become a writer?

MARK: I have always loved stories, in large part because of my grandmother. She was a wonderful Irish lady with a great sense of humor and a keen eye for detail. I loved listening to her tell stories, even ones I had heard fifty times before. I liked to draw, too, and I remember being in third grade and writing and illustrating a little book about a gang of misfit heroes that I created.

SHERI: It probably seems cliché, but I would say a lifetime of reading has inspired my writing. From when I was a little girl, every time I would finish a book, I would make up stories in my head about what might happen next. Or I would create new adventures for the characters. It wasn’t a huge leap to creating my own stories...with the collaboration of Mark, my husband and brilliant writing partner.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

SHERI: I think I would visit the Grape Vine, the campus restaurant and hangout. I love to eat out and there’s always something fun happening at the Grape Vine...a game of darts, a band playing, or a scheme being played out.

MARK:: I have always loved the beach, and the private school in our novel is situated on an island. So I guess I’d like to visit any one of those beaches. And I’d probably want to hang out with our character Theo, because he’s all about fun.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

SHERI: Well...Mac has a BIG secret that he’s not ready to tell anyone yet. It explains a lot about why he’s such a punk, why he doesn’t believe in himself, and why he feels he’s failed his mother so completely.

MARK: He’d probably be revealing it to Homer, and he’d probably end up revealing that he actually enjoys hanging out with him. Mac has been cultivating a “lone wolf” persona, so Mac admitting that he actually enjoys making connections with people would be a huge step for him.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

MARK: Again, Mac’s roommate Theo...without question! (I mean, he’s a teenager in the book… but once he’s old enough, it would be great to hang out with him.)

SHERI Yes, me too! Theo is the life of the party wherever he goes.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

MARK: I have never been in a fist fight in my life. So, I would diffuse the situation, ask him if he’d like to have a drink. If that didn’t work, I’d start quoting poetry-- maybe some from the Odyssey? I remember hearing the story of how Sting got the title of his 1987 album ...Nothing LIke the Sun; apparently, some drunk person was accosting him, so Sting just started quoting Shakespeare’s sonnet 130. The drunk backed off. The lesson, of course: if you encounter a drunk person, start quoting poetry, because then the drunk will think you’re crazier than he is.

SHERI: I would probably freeze for a second or two...and then run. Our characters might be up for the challenge, but clearly Mark and I would not!

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

MARK: Horror. I don’t like watching horror movies at all…heck, I don’t even like watching commercials for horror movies! I’m a grown man, and I still turn away when a creepy commercial is on!

SHERI: Erotica. I’ll leave that to the experts!

ABOUT MARK AND SHERI

For many years Mark, a high school English teacher, and Sheri, a freelance writer and blogger, wrote independently. No matter the writing project—newspaper articles, retreat talks, college recommendation letters, fan-fiction, blog posts on spirituality or 80s pop songs—they tended to work alone. Separate rooms, separate computers. But raising their twin sons helped them discover an important truth: All Good Things Come in Twos.

GIVEAWAY

Mark and Sheri Dursin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ASTA AND THE BARBARIANS by Becca Fox

ASTA AND THE BARBARIANS
by Becca Fox

Asta heard about King Torvald's crusade and watched her people fortify the town's defenses, but she never imagined foreign invaders would come to her peaceful shores. In one fateful night, she loses everything she holds dear and somehow gains the favor of the warrior god. Has he given her the tools she needs for revenge or does he have a greater plan in store?

EXCERPT
I waited until I couldn’t hear his boots slapping against the floor. Then I eased the door shut, leaned against the rough wood and laughed. It sounded hysterical, almost maniacal, even to my own ears. I clapped a hand over my mouth then, suddenly overwhelmed with grief. Because I wasn’t free. I would never be free of him.

Sliding down the length of the door, I sobbed as quietly as I could manage. The events of the last few weeks washed over me with their terror and grisliness. I allowed myself to mourn my parents, my sister, my fiancé, my friends, the servants who had so diligently cared for me, the quaint little town I had once hated, and the naïve, self-centered child I had once been.

~Buy ASTA AND THE BARBARIANS:

-Amazon US
-Amazon UK
-Smashwords
-Apple
-Kobo
-Nook

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT BECCA

Becca Fox was that strange girl in high school, who always seemed to have her nose in a book. She didn’t talk much because, more often than not, she was daydreaming about different fantasy worlds. During class, under the guise of taking notes, she wrote scenes for her works in progress.

Becca is a bit more social now but still enjoys reading, writing, and daydreaming. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, a fat orange tabby cat, and a forever-puppy. She has published three books to date, I Dare You to Love Me (a young adult romance), In the Dark (a new adult paranormal romance), and Asta and the Barbarians (a new adult fantasy.)

Find her online:

-blog
-website
-Amazon
-Goodreads
-Twitter
-Facebook
-Pinterest
-Instagram

GIVEAWAY

Becca will be awarding custom made bookmarks, coasters, and magnets to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 17, 2018

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE by D L Richardson

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE
by D L Richardson

"Players. Welcome to the apocalypse"

Join these characters on an emotional and fast-paced journey to explore what it really means to survive.

Book 1: PANDORA

The Apocalypse Games is a state of the art virtual game, yet when it traps over 100 players inside, there’s reason to worry – their simulation pods are designed to last 3 days and the artificial intelligence is taking over.

Book 2: CyberNexis

When rescue finally arrives, the players are transported to an offsite facility to recover from cyber sickness. Not all the players survived and not all is what it seems. What is CyberNexis hiding out in the desert?

Book 3: PRIMAL SCREAM

The disaster known as The Event has plunged the world into icy darkness. Humans can’t survive but a group of mutants can. All signs lead back to the simulation pods. What were they really designed for?

EXCERPT FROM PANDORA
Jack Minnow grabbed a brochure off the rack and his eyes scanned the back page. "It says here that rule breakers are ten times more likely to survive an apocalypse. They're adaptable and they rely on cunning and instinct."

Jack was five-foot-eight, and the woman behind the counter, called an operator, was easily six-feet tall. Looking at her was like looking at a marble statue atop a pedestal. All white – her hair, her tight-fitting jump suit, her face, neck, and hands, painted to resemble a computer generated character. He allowed himself to imagine that the stage make-up covered places he couldn't see.

She smiled at him. "It also says that rule breakers are ten times more likely to die within the first hour. They're reckless and often act without thinking."

She pushed a plastic tray towards him, the kind handed out at airports to slip under x-ray machines. Jack dropped his wallet, phone, and car keys into the tray.

"So it's a win/win day for a guy with a superhero complex," he said.

Superman, his mother had called him after he'd brought home a stray dog for the fifth time. "Can't help but save things," she'd told the dog ranger. Even as a boy, Jack knew what happened to the mutts who were handed over to the ranger, but he still brought dogs home for one last night of fun. His superhero complex was the reason he'd entered The Apocalypse Games. Save everyone. Save the world. Nobody dies. Not for real anyway.

The operator removed the tray and he stood there waiting for a voucher. None came. A warning flared up into his brain. What did he really know about this operation?

~Buy the WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE series on Amazon:

-Pandora
-CyberNexis
-Primal Scream

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT D L

D L Richardson writes speculative fiction. She is currently a self-published author of three YA novels "The Bird with the Broken Wing", "Resident Spy", and "One Little Spell". She is also the creator of the apocalyptic/sci-fi series "Welcome to the Apocalypse", and the novella series inspired by Tales from the Crypt, "The Shivers Novellas".

A former singer and musician, she credits this stage experience for her ease of public speaking, conducting writing workshops, and appearing on panels. Her books don't feature the usual tropes and this has earned her many loyal readers.

When she's not writing she enjoys playing music, watching Netflix, reading, gardening, and walking the dog.

Find her online:

-website
-Facebook
-Twitter
-Google+
-blog

GIVEAWAY

D L Richardson will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

UNBREAKABLE BOND by Jess Bryant

UNBREAKABLE BOND
by Jess Bryant

Sometimes fate gets it all wrong.

Zoey Kent has lived with that fact ever since she turned eighteen and learned that the man she loved could never be hers. He’s a born shifter, a wolf, and she’s a mere human. Fate doesn’t care if on paper they’re a perfect pair. She isn’t his fated mate and she’s resigned herself to the knowledge that someday, she’ll have to watch Michael mate with another. It’s never crossed her mind that there might be someone else out there for her, that she would be the one to mate another, to choose another over everything she’s ever known or wanted.

Sometimes fate gets it all right.

Rafe Hudson left his pack behind years ago. Physically and mentally scarred from an attack that left his parents and twin dead, he walked away from his responsibilities as Alpha. He never intended to return but lone wolf or not, he can’t leave Michael open to an attack he’s learned is coming for his only brother. What he didn’t know was that going home would mean scenting his mate, the one person in the world that could make him whole again, that could give him everything he thought he’d lost. His pack, his home and his family.

But fate always has a plan.

There’s no way Michael’s brother is her future, is there? Just like there’s no way that the girl his brother has loved since they were kids, was always meant to be his, right?

Only fate knows why they were brought together but there is one thing for sure, the sparks between Zoey and Rafe are undeniable. The bond between them is unbreakable. And together… they’ll change the face of the pack forever.

EXCERPT
Zoey felt her jaw fall open. Rafe. Michael had called him Rafe again. Add in what he’d just said about the pack being his and that meant he was exactly who she’d thought he was when she got that first good look at him.

Her mind was whirling, “Michael? What’s going on? Tell me. Now. Because what my head is telling me can’t possibly be right… can it?”

Michael sighed, started to reach for her again and then must have thought better of it considering the threat hanging in the air. He swiped his hand across his jaw instead. When he met her eyes again, there was more than just concern there this time. There was also a good portion of sadness.

“Zoey, you remember my brother?”

“Rafael.” Her gaze automatically shifted back to him when Michael confirmed what she’d already put together, “Rafe.”

That flash of recognition hit her again along with something else. It had been a long time. She’d barely been a teenager the last time she saw him. He’d taken off after the accident that took his parents life and the life of his twin brother, the same accident that had made Michael Alpha of the pack.

It was the something else that distracted her though, the thing that definitely hadn’t been there when she’d known him before. The instant attraction to him was new. So was the urge to move towards him, to let him protect her, the belief that he was the one offering safety, comfort and home. None of that had been there when she’d known him before… before she’d turned eighteen, she realized.

Her head was still trying to figure out what that meant, how that was possible, when Michael’s next words confirmed what her heart had been trying to tell her all day.

This was the important part. The impossible part. The part she never could have seen coming because it changed everything.

“He thinks you’re his mate.”

~Follow the rest of the tour

ABOUT JESS

Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl's life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt's Harlequin collection and she's been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.

Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn't afraid to tell you that your school isn't as cool as hers... or that your sports romance got it all wrong.

For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at JessBryantBooks@gmail.com or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.

Find her online:

-website
-Facebook
-Instagram
-Twitter
-Amazon

GIVEAWAY

Jess will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

JOAN THE MADE by Kristen Pham

JOAN THE MADE
by Kristen Pham

On Joan Fasces' eighteenth birthday, she discovers that she is cloned from the famous Joan of Arc. But being cloned in America comes at a steep price. Segregated and oppressed, clones are forced to act as docile servants to the rest of the Evolved population.

Joan can either run from her fate and spend the rest of her life in hiding, or she can join a Throwback rebellion populated by clones of the greatest leaders in history.

EXCERPT
The doorbell rings, and I bound down the steps. My parents hover beside the front door. Mom doesn’t comment on my appearance, even though I can tell she notices my skinned elbows. When I see her knuckles, red and raw from all her hand-wringing, a strange dart of fear pings through my body.

A tall woman with tan skin and short, cropped hair enters our house and shakes my parents’ hands after she sets her briefcase on the ground.

“Jayne Piers, from the Department of Genetic Evolution,” she says, introducing herself.

She shakes my hand, and her stare is piercing, like she can read the truth of my DNA in my eyes.

“Joan Fasces,” I say, willing my voice to stop trembling.

Mom leads us into the dining room, which is elegantly decorated for the birthday lunch she insisted on hosting for me to celebrate being Confirmed as Evolved.

Jayne sits and opens her briefcase. Her movements are efficient as she attaches a needle to her smartphone and pulls my arm toward her. The sharp tip stings my index finger as it collects a drop of my blood for analysis. When she’s done, she sprays my finger and the needle with a sanitizer mist.

“This won’t take long,” Jayne says as data about my DNA rapidly fills the screen of her phone.

I look up for the first time since Jayne took my blood and see that my parents are gripping each other’s hands tightly. Mom’s eyes meet mine and fill with tears, and the realization hits me right before the words come out of Jayne’s mouth.

“Your DNA is cloned. You’re a Genetic Replicant,” she says. There’s no judgment; she’s stating a fact.

I’m a Throwback.

~Buy JOAN THE MADE on Amazon

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
I love the concept behind this book. A future where a percentage of the population is clones of famous people and said clones are controlled based on who they’re cloned from? That just sounds cool. This book had a lot of great stuff going on. Aside from the main societal conflict between the clones (or throwbacks) and evolved, there was also a ranking system within the throwback world. Joan, our main character, is a clone of Joan of Arc and is slated to be an actress. But even within performance school, she is considered a “historical,” looked down at by the clones of actual performers, such as Marilyn Monroe. It’s tough to find YA sci-fi or dystopia books without a rebellion, but this book manages to actually have two going on, and there is yet more strife here. There is one rebellion that’s all about peaceful change and another that isn’t afraid to play dirty. There is no end of tension in this book, and though this is all so complex, it’s very understandable and easy to follow.

All this said, something about this book just didn’t work for me. I was fascinated by the various power struggles, but at the end of the book, I found myself asking “why.” Why are clones second-class citizens? What brought us to this point in this world? Maybe the answer is waiting in a sequel, but I didn’t get even a hint, and that made the whole thing feel like it was missing something.

There were also some key things that were glossed over. How do clones come into being? Is there a machine? Artificial insemination? Also, how did this society obtain DNA for people who lived long before DNA was even known, like Genghis Khan?

Joan, too, felt off. As a protagonist, I can say I mostly liked her. In the beginning, she seemed kind of bratty, but by the end, she was better. Some things about her, though, just didn’t make sense. She knows who Marilyn Monroe and Louis Armstrong are, but she realizes one of her teachers is “some tap dancer named Gene Kelly.” I really enjoyed her backstory, and I liked how her parent’s addiction was brought forward into her personality. On the other hand, the love subplot with her and Justice felt kind of forced and too quick. Regarding this, I have suspicions about a potential love triangle and that something the evolved told the throwbacks will turn out to be a lie. Also, there seemed to be a texting inconsistency between Joan and Justice, which always caught me off guard.

In the end, I did enjoy this book. The world is strong, and the concept is fantastic. The execution just fell short for me. Despite this, I am curious enough to read a sequel. This book left many questions unanswered, some that really needed answers. But I want to know what happens next.

ABOUT KRISTEN

Kristen Pham is a YA science fiction and fantasy writer who lives for really great fudge, roller coasters, and exploring new worlds via fiction. She lives in San Jose, CA with her children and husband, where she eagerly waits for her kids to turn 11 and receive their invitations to Hogwarts.

If you would like to hear about Kristen's new releases and giveaways, sign up for her newsletter on her website. You can also reach her on Twitter and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY

Kristen Pham will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

DUKE DU JOUR by Petie McCarty

DUKE DU JOUR
by Petie McCarty

..a reverse Kate and Leopold...a light-hearted time travel romance where a bewildered modern-day duke ends up in Regency England and meets the girl of his dreams...

Jared Langley, present-day Duke of Reston, tumbles into an abandoned fountain on his ducal estate and travels back in time to the year 1816. There, Reston servants and local villagers think him a dead ringer for his namesake and rakehell ancestor--the seventh Duke of Reston, gone missing at the Battle of Waterloo. Unfortunately, Seven got mixed up with French spies out to assassinate the Duke of Wellington, and an unwary Jared ends up in their crosshairs.

Lady Ariana Hart has loved Jared Langley, the seventh Duke of Reston, since she was twelve years old, until the night the rogue broke her heart. Given up for dead, her rakish neighbor makes a miraculous return from Waterloo--only Jared shows up a changed man and reignites all the feelings Ariana had long ago buried.

Jared is in a race against time. He must waylay the suspicions of his quirky servants and neighbors, get to Wellington before the French spies do, fix his fountain--before Seven shows up--so Jared has a way home, and definitely not fall in love with the irresistible Lady Ariana.

EXCERPT
Ari did not pull back as he had feared.

Her small hands gripped his Jaredet lapels and tugged him to her.

My little spitfire.

Jared couldn’t help it—he smiled against her lips.

She did pull back at that. “Why are you smiling?”

“You delight me.”

Jared could not have stripped the smile from his face if he had wanted to. He was just too damned happy. Ari wasn’t smiling, however.

“I am honored you allowed me to give you your first French kisses,” he said quickly. At her confused look, he added, “A kiss with tongues is a real kiss.”

“How did—” Her fingers pressed to her lips.

“Trust me. I know these things.”

Ouch. That sounded arrogant even to him.

Evidently to Ari, too. “And only a rake would find it humorous to give a woman her first real kiss.”

“No, that’s not what I meant.”

He reached for her. She lurched back, just missing the statue of David.

“I told you; I’m a different man now.”

Stick to the truth. It is always best.

Ari looked uncertain.

With her gaze keenly settled on his face, he managed to slip a step closer. “I’m a reformed rake.”

And Jared realized he felt like one.

“You reformed me,” he whispered and leaned in to kiss her.

“And when your memory returns, you’ll go back to the old Jared,” she said, easing back.

~Follow the rest of the tour

REVIEW
There’s something magical and, well, romantic about regency romances. The dance cards, the balls, the pretty gowns, the dazzling propriety of it all. It’s a time period I love getting lost in but wouldn’t necessarily want to visit for real. So, hats off to Jared for adjusting so well in this sweeping love story backed by a murder plot. The fact that Jared is a historian both helped and hindered him, and I enjoyed watching him blurt something only to realize the thing he suggested wasn’t invented for another hundred years. I did feel like Jared adopted the language of the regency era a bit too quickly, but otherwise, he was cutely hilarious being tossed back in time. Definitely a swoon-worthy hero.

For her part, Ari grows into a fantastic match for Jared. Together, they fight, love, and overcome many obstacles. Their romance is the perfect blend of heat and swoon. Knowing all this, Ari sometimes felt like two different people. In one scene, she’d be capable and confident and telling off suitors left and right. In the next, she’d overhear something out-of-context and run off crying. I actually lost count of the amount of times this happened, and after a while, it felt a bit overdone. All in all, though, I liked her, and if she wanted to share her wardrobe, that would be great.

The murder plot backdropping this love story kept the tension high. I knew who was behind it from a mile away, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying the reveals. Without spoiling the ending, I liked how the issue of love with time travel was resolved. This book was a quick read with snappy dialogue and engaging characters. Recommend to fans of historical romance, definitely.

ABOUT PETIE

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World -- "The Most Magical Place on Earth" -- where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her "day" job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-elements-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

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GIVEAWAY

Petie McCarty will be awarding 3 ebook copies of Betting on Cinderella by Petie McCarty (US and International) to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway