Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Holiday Book Blast and Giveaway for Gift Cards and eBooks!

 photo Holiday Book Blast_zps8yf68ete.png

WELCOME TO THE HOLIDAY BOOK BLAST! 

Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the book as well as the Buy Links!

Before you leave, don't forget to enter the giveaway!


Monday, December 2, 2019

unVerified Sales Blitz: Giveaway for a Holiday Travel Bundle


Today, we have the sales blitz for unVerified by Kristin Giese! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: unVerified
Author: Kristin Giese
Genre: Contemporary Romance

About unVerified:

Matthew Milles-Lade, a rich kid whose trust fund is suddenly in question, and Margo Valentine Melon, a writer whose career fizzled before it sparked, are two twenty-something strangers stuck living at home, trying to figure out their lives. When they each come across a real estate listing for a palatial (and significantly underpriced) guest house in one of LA’s toniest neighborhoods, their lives get turned upside down.

What happens next has them racing to catch the truth before it catches them.

Unverified has all the magic and making of the rom coms you love, set in the world of social media stardom and online fame, with just enough real world stakes to make it a page turner you won’t be able to put down.

Get Your Copy Today!

Exclusive Excerpt:

“Kirby, when do you move in?” Maureen Melon shrieked as Margo walked into the kitchen. “Did you hear that M&M? Kirby bought a house!”

“Wow,” Margo said flatly, greeting the news with the same enthusiasm as dental work.

“I close next week. And then after that,” Kirby trailed off, lost in a haze of euphoria before exclaiming, “I’m gonna be a homeowner at 24! Can you believe it?”

They both looked at Margo with stars in their eyes.

“I can’t,” Margo echoed dryly...

Margo had moved home as a stopover after a failed stint at Popler, the holy grail of fashion magazines, but that was four years ago now. She’d nabbed the position her senior year and crammed her entire world into two checkable duffel bags and flung herself across the country to a rundown studio in Harlem. In real life it was 246 square feet of worn walls and sloping floors.

Perfection, Margo had thought the moment the door swung open. Her first day, she arrived ready to run the place. But, after eight weeks of only filing, running errands, and fetching coffee, she surmised she wasn’t being used to her fullest. So, with an abundance of entitlement that she mistook for confidence, Margo marched into her boss’s office. Lennox Stanton sat before her picking apart a vegan burrito like a vulture clad in Balmain as Margo launched in: “People say you have to start at the bottom, but I don’t think that applies to everyone. Some of us are meant to start several rungs up. I’m happy to get your coffee every once and a while, Lennox, but I’d like to be given more challenging duties if I’m expected to remain in my position.”

Five minutes later, Margo was on the corner of 45th and Times Square holding the contents of her desk, three packages of Little Debbie snacks, and a fake cactus. Lennox Stanton had fired her.

Her parents had encouraged her to bootstrap a way to stay in New York. “I’m not just taking any job, Dad,” she’d protested. “I wanna write, not wait tables.” The next day, she bought a ticket home. “It’s fine. I’ll take this time to write,” she informed her parents as she hefted her suitcase off the baggage carousel. Their worried glances said they weren’t so sure.

Kirby, on the other hand, skyrocketed. While waiting in line for coffee in between her classes Kirby had met a coding student, David, from the technical school across the street. Together, the pair formed a resale fashion start-up, Blush & Bashful, selling Kirby’s vintage finds. Surprising even to them, it took off and took them with it. Kirby went from a girl with no professional drive to driving a Mercedes in two short years. As far as Margo was concerned, that ride, metaphorically and literally, was supposed to have been hers.

“Earth to Margo!”

Margo shook free from the memory to find her mom passing Champagne flutes through the window that connected their dining room and kitchen and robotically grabbed them. She lapped the table placing one flute at each seat.

“What do you mean a channel?” she asked as Kirby joined her relay team, falling in rank behind her, placing napkins at each stop.

“I mean a channel, AN ACTUAL CHANNEL. I’ve already started shooting videos for the site, and we’re changing my title to editor in chief and style director. Can you believe...”

Margo halted. Kirby smashed into her back. “What?” Margo asked indignantly. “You’re an editor in chief just because some coding school dropout gives you the title?”

Kirby’s face crumpled.

“MARGO!” her mother reprimanded. Silence stood like soup in the room.

She knew she should stop but didn’t. Couldn’t. “I’m the writer. Not you. What have you ever done? I mean, really, Kirby? Seriously?” she asked, each word punctuated with accusation.

“You made eyes with a guy in a coffee shop who wanted in your pants and somehow you parlay that into a self-professed editor in chief title. You’re such a fake. And...”

“THAT’S ENOUGH!” Hank Melon boomed from the doorway. “Margo Valentine Melon, you will not speak to your sister that way. What has happened to you? You’re the one who quit. Not me.

Not your mother. Certainly not Kirby. You. You gave up. You threw in the towel. And yet here you are trying to hang all of us with it. I don’t think so, young lady.”

His words stung, mostly because they were true. Margo wanted to yell at them, like a child who drops their ice cream and then shouts at everyone standing around for what was their own mistake. She bit her lip to keep it from trembling, placed the remaining flutes on the table, and rushed out.

“Margo?” Kirby started behind her.

“Give her a minute.” Maureen grabbed Kirby’s arm.

Carved into the side of the hill halfway down Beverly Crest sat Coyote Café, a small sliver of an establishment that was easily missed thanks to its hidden façade, so much so that Margo had missed it. She had to go down the hill and turn around, driving back up to locate it. She waited for one of the only spots in the lot that her beat-up Bronco would fit into. When she walked into the café, she stepped in a puddle of water. Damn it! Chelsea’s McQueens!

“What can I get you?” he asked.

Margo felt herself relax, the anger shaking free from what had just happened up the hill. “Ain’t that the truth,” she said, smiling at his positivity.

Margo rattled off her order and paid at the register.

“Take a seat.” He pointed to the booth. “I’ll get that right out to you. Want any pastries?” he asked, as he began to grind coffee beans, gesturing with his head toward the counter brimming with cake stands. “We make ’em homemade daily. I get up at 4 a.m. just to do it.”

Margo looked at the counter and spied the pile of at least ten croissants under an elegant glass cloche. She thought of Mix’s request for the flaky and buttery baked goods. “Nope, all set,” she said as she took a seat.

As Margo sat in the oversized walnut booth, a flood of anger and uncertainty washed over her. Universe, God, Beyoncé, Oprah, give me a sign of what I’m supposed to do. I thought I was on the right path, but I don’t know. I just need a sign of what to do next, of where I belong….

About the Author:


Kristin Giese is a talent manager, brand developer, and executive producer who began her career building the entirety of the Nate Berkus brand, amongst other talent, as well as partnering with the likes of The Oprah Winfrey Show, OWN, Sony, Target, TLC, NBC, P&G, GMC, and so many more.

Born and raised in Ohio and a proud Shelby Whippet, Kristin’s love for estate jewelry is only outmatched by her commitment to vintage kimonos and her family. Unverified is her 1st novel.

Connect with Kristin:

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Enter Kristin’s Giveaway:


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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Dangerous Alliance Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt and Giveaway


Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance
by Jennieke Cohen
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: December 3, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Fiction

About the book:
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.

But now Vicky must marry -- or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her … ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

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My thoughts:
I really loved Dangerous Alliance. This book had a little bit of everything -- romance, mystery, and humor. Vicky was a spunky heroine whose future was being decided for her, and she wasn't happy about that at all! She was torn between helping her family and determining her own destiny. Just when I thought I knew who was behind all of the accidents befalling Vicky and her family, I learned I was wrong. I love being surprised! I'm hoping that author Jennieke Cohen will write more books like Dangerous Alliance. I'll definitely have my hand up to read them!

Read an excerpt:
Vicky raised her chin. She would handle this situation as Elizabeth Bennet would. After Mr. Wickham had run off to London with Elizabeth’s sister Lydia, the couple returned to Longbourn. Elizabeth had been polite to Wickham but had also made it clear she knew what kind of scoundrel he was.

Vicky could do the same to Dain. As she stretched to her full height, she realized Mr. Carmichael’s blackish-brown gaze centered on her. She could not guess his thoughts, but unfortunately, there would be no further help from that quarter. Mr. Carmichael had no claim on her that could keep her from a family member.

Mr. Carmichael locked eyes with her just as Dain pulled her arm into the crook of his. Vicky’s lips tightened into a line. Blasted, beastly brother-in-law...

Dain nodded to Carmichael and led her away.

She glanced back at Mr. Carmichael. He watched her, a small crease forming between his brows. Vicky searched for her mother once again, but she had disappeared.

“Well, my dear, dear sister,” said Dain. “You look stunning this evening. A new gown, I take it?” His amber eyes traveled up and down her body.

Vicky’s stomach lurched. “You swine,” she spat. “How dare you look at me in such a fashion?” So much for being polite.

“Why, Lady Victoria, such language,” he mocked.

She narrowed her eyes. “But then, I suppose I’ve answered my own question,” she continued. “Swine are too bestial to have a conscience. Indeed, they enjoy wallowing in the mud.” Elizabeth Bennet’s subtlety had deserted her, but blast it. Dain deserved to know what he was!

He put his free hand on her arm and squeezed. The motion would look like fraternal devotion to any onlooker, but it was becoming more and more painful by the second.

Vicky gasped.

He chuckled deep in his throat.

How had he hidden his cruelty all these years? She tried to move away, but his grip tightened. She suppressed her grimace.

She spoke through clenched teeth. “Take your hand off me.”

“Or what, dear sister? What can you possibly do?” He smiled again.

Bile rose in her throat. So this was the monster Thea had lived with for two years. But his question remained: What could she do? What if he took her out of the ballroom? Who knew what he might do to her if they were beyond the gaze of prying eyes?

Vicky’s heart drummed in her chest. Maybe she could knock him in the face with her reticule, or if worse came to worse, somewhere more painful, but she couldn’t do that in the ballroom without appearing mad. If she waited until he took her somewhere private, there was no guarantee she’d be able to break free of him.

Suddenly, an answer came to her. She spoke loudly so the guests nearby would overhear. “Oh, Lord Dain, the ribbon on my slipper has snapped. Pray excuse me. I am certain someone in the retiring room will be able to assist me.”

He tutted with false concern, then gestured to the side of the ballroom. “There is a chair. I shall fix it for you.”

She raised her voice again. “No, no. I’d much rather retire for a moment.” If she said much more, the entire ballroom would think she needed the privy.

He pulled her to the edge of the ballroom. “My dear sister, I could not possibly part with your company.” His hand gripped her arm like a vise.

Vicky narrowed her eyes. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of thinking he could do this to her. “Take your hand off me, or I swear to scream the truth to the entire ballroom,” she whispered.

“What truth would that be?” he drawled.

“That you’ve been beating my sister to within an inch of her life and you’re taking me outside to do the same to me.”

He laughed. “I’m afraid, dear sister, no one would believe you.” His lips curved into a sneer.

His repeated use of “sister” made her itch to slap him. “Perhaps not now. Not yet.”

He gripped her arm even tighter and angled his body to face her. “Just what does that mean?”

Her stomach dropped. She’d said too much. Althea had only been in London a week and the lawyers couldn’t start the proceedings for her legal separation yet. Her mind raced for an answer to distract Dain. “That you will reveal your own character. Just as you have tonight.” She glared at him, refusing to blink.

His lips twisted in a snarl. “Do not try my patience,” he said, anger infused into every syllable.

Before she could say another word, Dain abruptly released her arm and stepped back.

“Lady Victoria. How lovely to see you again.”

Vicky’s throat went dry. She turned and saw that, to her simultaneous joy and dismay, Tom stood beside her.

Tom smiled and took Vicky’s hand.

She could hardly believe it. He’d sought her out amongst the hordes of people here? She blinked several times, trying to guess his reasoning. A short stillness ensued until Vicky realized she’d left her hand in his grip a hair longer than was proper. She pulled her hand back and cast her eyes down, hoping her heated cheeks weren’t noticeable.

“L-Lord Halworth, what a surprise.”


About the author:
Jennieke Cohen (JEN-ih-kah CO-en) is used to people mispronouncing her name and tries to spare her fictional characters the same problem. Jennieke writes historical fiction for young adults inspired by real people and events because life is often stranger than fiction. She studied English history at Cambridge University and has a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. Jennieke loves exploring new locales but always returns home to Northern California where the summers are hot, the winters are mild, and life is casual.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest | Instagram

GIVEAWAY

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of DANGEROUS ALLIANCE by Jennieke Cohen (US Only)
Ends: 11th December 2019

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book to facilitate my honest review.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Christmas Treasures Book Tour and Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card ~ 2 Winners!


Christmas Treasures Anthology
Mixed Genres Holiday Fiction
with stories by:
Angela Gray, C. Forrest Lundin, E.M. Denning, Holly Barbo,
Jess Mountifield, Maxine Murphy, Julie Elizabeth Powell,
Marc Sanderson, S.P. West, Sean Gallatin, Cherime MacFarlane, Suzy Stewart Dubot

Through time and space, Christmas remains a time for love, laughter and family. It may be the family we make, the one we were born into, or the one we hope to find. These Christmas stories are all about Christmas, in the future, the past or now. Come with us, let’s celebrate the holiday season.

Angela Gray - An Unexpected Christmas
Award-Winning Author C. Forrest Lundin - Christmas Changes
E.M. Denning - Snow Angel
Award-Winning Author Holly Barbo - A Magic Yule
Jess Mountifield - Santa’s Little Space Pirate
Maxine Murphy - The Best Christmas He’ll Never Remember
Best Selling Author Julie Elizabeth Powell - Yule Spirits
Marc Sanderson - Christmas Eve
S.P. West - Kickstart My Heart
Sean Gallatin – Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Cherime MacFarlane - The Perfect Present
Suzy Stewart Dubot - The Christmas Ball

**Only 99 cents!!**

**Scroll through the slideshow to find out more about the authors!!**





Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!







Sunday, November 24, 2019

Yours Since Yesterday Blog Tour: Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card


Today, we have the blog tour for Yours Since Yesterday by Jennifer Bernard! Check out this great romance and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: Yours Since Yesterday
Author: Jennifer Bernard
Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Yours Since Yesterday:

Once they were best friends. Now they’re from two different worlds.

Zoe Bellini’s world exploded the second she kissed her best friend ... and not in a good way. Every teen dream came crashing down when Padric was whisked away from Alaska, and her luck hasn’t improved in the last fifteen years. In fact, the pizza shop owner’s terrible track record with men has become a local legend. She doesn’t expect it to change when Padric -- now a world-famous rock star -- sails back into town. It’s not like they can just pick up where they left off…but her traitorous body sure wants to try.

Padric Jeffers never expected to return to his hometown of Lost Harbor, Alaska -- not after the scandal that sent his family fleeing. But a mysterious letter with a warning about his childhood friend Zoe? That has him postponing his tour and hopping on the next flight north. Zoe’s been on his mind and in his lyrics since he left her behind, and once he sets eyes on the stunning grown-up version of his best friend, his mission is clear: do whatever it takes to have her -- and keep her -- this time around.

Easier said than done, since not everyone in town is excited about Padric’s return. And someone will do anything it takes to get rid of him. Can a pizza maker and a rock star overcome their history -- not to mention scandals, angsty fans and unexpected danger -- and find their way back to love?

A standalone novel in the Lost Harbor, Alaska series.

Get Your Copy:
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Catch Up on the Series:
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Check out the trailer for Yours Since Yesterday:


Yours Since Yesterday Trailier from Jennifer Bernard on Vimeo.

Read an Excerpt!

Zoe shaded her eyes and craned her neck to get a better look at the man steering the small -- but obviously expensive -- pleasure craft into the harbor. It sure looked like Padric Jeffers, but the chances of it actually being Padric seemed ridiculously small.

In the past fifteen years, shy, creative, crush-worthy Padric Jeffers had grown into jet-setting, famous, still crush-worthy Padric Jeffers, the superstar singer-songwriter. He would be more likely to cruise into the Monte Carlo harbor with a movie star in the passenger seat.

He hadn’t been back to Alaska in fifteen years, why would he come back now? It made no sense, and yet the closer the boat came, the more the man at the helm looked like Padric.

Then again, her eyes could be fooling her. She wouldn’t be surprised, since it had happened a few times at the pizza shop. So many customers came through over the course of the summer, and inevitably a few blue-eyed, dark-haired men resembled Padric. Even though he’d barely turned fifteen the last time she saw him, she knew exactly what he looked like.

He was hard to avoid, being a superstar singer-songwriter, after all.

Dimly, she realized that everyone else had left. Lucas Holt, Megan Miller, the rest of the “harbor rats,” as the workers who populated the harbor boardwalk called themselves. They’d all gathered on the float to welcome back Lucas and Megan, who had just gotten engaged. And then she’d caught sight of the mystery boat, and she’d completely forgotten everything except possible-Padric.

No -- definite-Padric. He must have felt her staring, because he turned his head and met her gaze. Dreamboat eyes, bluer than ever, captured hers.

The effect was electric. They hadn’t looked each other in the eye since that crazy-ass trip across the bay. Just like that, all those emotions came storming back. Confusion, fear, anger -- a lightning bolt ripping open her heart.

Astonishingly, Padric didn’t look much different from his fifteen-year-old self. He was taller and broader around the shoulders. Under the watch cap he wore, his jaw was firmer, his face more hollowed out, dark with scruff. His hair, longer than before, peeked from under his hat. The dark blue knit cap emphasized the strong bones of his face and the shine of his blue eyes -- the eyes that had doomed so many women to hopeless crushes.

A smile began in the corner of his mouth. Eyes plus smile -- now, that was a lethal combo. No way could she stay here and subject herself to that.

Without responding, she whirled around and headed for the ramp that led to the boardwalk.

She had work to do. A pizza shop to run. She had no business mooning around here in the harbor.


About Jennifer Bernard:


Jennifer Bernard is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books have been called “an irresistible reading experience” full of “quick wit and sizzling love scenes.” A graduate of Harvard and former news promo producer, she left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She still hasn’t adjusted to the cold, so most often she can be found cuddling with her laptop and a cup of tea. Sign up for her newsletter for book news and fun exclusives.

Connect with Jennifer:
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Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Piper's Pursuit Blog Tour: Review and Print Book Giveaway


The Piper’s Pursuit
by Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release date: December 3, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

ABOUT THE BOOK

A plague of rats. A giant beast outside the village walls. A host of missing children. And one young woman determined to save her people.

In 1424 Hamlin, Katerina faces threats from all sides. An outbreak of rats has overtaken the village, a mysterious beast is on a killing rampage of the village’s children, and her evil stepfather is a dark presence inside the walls of her own home. Katerina is determined to hunt and kill the Beast of Hamlin herself before more lives are lost.

When Steffan, the handsome but brash duke’s son, comes to town seeking glory and reward, Katerina decides he might be the ally she’s been looking for -- even though the sweet music he plays on his pipe seems the only gentle thing about him. But there’s more to Steffan than she suspects, and she finds drawn to him despite her misgivings.

Can Katerina and Steffan stop the enemy from stealing every child of Hamlin? Or will their interference create a worse fate for them all? Melanie Dickerson delivers another exciting fairy tale journey of intrigue and romance in this reimagining of the classic Pied Piper story.


MY REVIEW

To be honest, I rarely accept requests to review books because I just don't have the time to read most of them, but when I received the offer to review a novel by Melanie Dickerson, I couldn't say "yes" fast enough! I've read several of her books, which are frequently based on a classic fairy tale, and I've loved them all. In the case of The Piper's Pursuit, Dickerson has woven the tale of the Pied Piper into an exciting and suspenseful story. Despite its historic setting in the 1400s, Katerina is a feisty young woman who longs for adventure and wants to save her town from the beast that is taking their children and the rats that have invaded the town. Both she and Steffan have plenty of flaws, but they mature and grow in wisdom as they work together to solve the mysteries afflicting the village. And, of course, there's some wonderful romance thrown in, too. I greatly enjoyed reading The Piper's Pursuit, and I can't wait to see what fairy tale Dickerson will take on next!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for history, adventure, and romance. Her books have won a Christy Award, two Maggie Awards, The National Reader’s Choice Award, the Christian Retailing’s Best Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Golden Quill, and the Carol Award. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children and adults in the U.S., Germany, and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama.

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GIVEAWAY

Prize: 1 finished copy of The Piper’s Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson (USA)
Giveaway Ends: 11/28/19

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Princess Plan Release Day Blitz: Giveaway for a Print Copy of the Book!


Today, we have the release day blitz for THE PRINCESS PLAN by Julia London! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: The Princess Plan
Author: Julia London
Genre: Contemporary Romance

About The Princess Plan:

Princes have pomp and glory -- not murdered secretaries and crushes on commoners.

Nothing gets the tongues of London’s high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective -- and an even greater interest in Eliza.

With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first -- his country or his heart.

Advance Praise for The Princess Plan:

“It completely charmed me ... the chemistry is so delicious. I simply didn’t want to put it down.” ~Nicola Cornick, USA TODAY bestselling author

“Charming, witty and warm. This is perfect historical romance.” ~Sarah Morgan, USA TODAY bestselling author

Order Now!
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Exclusive Excerpt:

When one lived as simply as Eliza Tricklebank, one did not expect to gain an invitation to a ball, much less meet a prince. And yet, she had somehow managed to put herself in the receiving line to be introduced to a prince, without the slightest bit of assistance other than a wee bit of rum punch.

She couldn’t even say which prince she was waiting to meet, or how many of them there were in total. She’d heard there were at least two of them presently in England, but for all she knew, there could be scores of them roaming about.

It seemed amusing now to think that this evening, and this moment, and the idea that Eliza might make the acquaintance of an actual prince, had all begun only days ago when Caroline had called at Bedford Square where Eliza lived with her father.

Caroline had news about the ball, gleaned from the revered Mrs. Cubison, the modiste from whom she’d commissioned masks for the three of them. “Mrs. Cubi­son offered that she’d been retained a month ago to pro­vide masks for the Alucians, and that she and her ladies had worked for days to fulfill their wishes.” She’d spo­ken quickly, with much excitement, even as she lazed on Eliza’s bed.

Hollis had gasped and reached for paper. “Not an­other word until I have my pencil--”

“You won’t believe what I tell you,” Caroline had said.

“I will.”

“The truth will be known soon enough, I suppose--”

“Caro, by all that is holy, if you don’t tell us, I will squeeze it from you with my bare hands,” Hollis had warned.

Caroline had laughed gaily. She enjoyed provoking Hollis, which Eliza had pointed out to her sister more than once. Hollis stubbornly refused to accept it.

“All right, here it is. Every single mask is black and identical.”

Hollis and Eliza had stared at their best friend, who very calmly pillowed her hands behind her head and crossed her feet at the ankles.

“Why?” Eliza had asked, only slightly curious about this mask detail.

“So you can’t tell the crown prince from the others!” Caroline had cried triumphantly.

Looking around her now, Eliza thought that was very forward thinking by the Alucians because it had worked -- she could hardly tell one Alucian from the other. There were scores of tall men dressed in black and identical plain black masks -- just like the one she’d encountered in that narrow passageway a quarter of an hour ago.

What a strange encounter that had been. Gentlemen were such odd creatures to her, now that she was at a remove from them by a spinster’s arm length. They could be so presumptuous. She realized now she wouldn’t be able to pick out that man in this crowd of identically dressed men even if she wanted to encounter him again. Which she did not.

About Julia London:

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Cabot Sisters historical series, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch and The Perfect Homecoming.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction.

She lives in Austin, Texas.

Connect with the Author:
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