Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: The Duke Knows Best by Jane Ashford

CVR The Duke Knows Best
They’re wrong for each other, for all the right reasons…

Lord Randolph Gresham has come to London for one reason only-to find a suitable wife. Verity Sinclair may be intelligent, beautiful, and full of spirit, but her father knows a secret about Randolph that makes her entirely unsuitable as his bride. Not right for him at all, never, not a chance.

Verity knows that Lord Randolph lives in a country parish, and she wants nothing more than to escape to town. He may be fascinating, attractive, rich, and the son of a duke, but she’ll never marry him, nor will she talk to him, flirt with him, walk with him, or dine with him. She’ll sing a duet with him, but only this one time, and only because everyone insists.

But one duet invariably leads to another.

Check out our exclusive excerpt below! 

Randolph enjoyed the performances right up until the moment when the hostess said, “A little bird has told me that we have some other talented singers among us tonight.” She marched up to Randolph and took his arm, then pulled him over to Miss Sinclair and did the same with her. Ignoring their protests, she hustled them over to the pianoforte. “Now, now, no false modesty. I’m told that both of you are quite out of the ordinary.”

Randolph was proud of his musical skills. He even enjoyed showing them off, on certain occasions. This was not one of them. He glared at his brothers. Robert and Sebastian shook their heads, disavowing any hand in this development.

“We must have a duet,” Lady Tolland said, maintaining her grip on her captives. She turned to her guests. “Don’t you think?”

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Guest Post

Rebecca Brooks’ Top 5 Dream Trips  

I love hiking, travel, skiing, and any kind of adventure—and I absolutely hate being cooped up indoors. Being a writer is both the best and worst job for me, because I spend so much time sitting in front of the computer…but I can also pack up and take my laptop with me on the road whenever I want to get out!

Here are five places I’m dying to get to:

Iceland. I feel like every time I open up Facebook or Instagram, I’m looking at somebody’s photos from a recent trip to Iceland. And they’re always INCREDIBLE. Mountains, hot springs, the Northern Lights—it looks like a magical destination any time of year, and the perfect place for a hiker to explore.

Patagonia. My best friend went here for her honeymoon, and the pictures of hiking on glaciers had me ready to pack my bags right away. I love snowy peaks and have been lucky to see incredible glaciers in the Andes, Alps, Himalayas, and on Mt. Hood and Mt. Kilimanjaro. At the rate the glaciers are melting, I figure I’d better see more before they’re all gone…

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Guest Post

The Book that Started It All | Lexi Lawton

If you ask any romance reader what was the first romance book they’d ever read, chances are, they’ll be able to tell you. For me, it was a book entitled TLC / Tender Loving Care. For the life of me, I cannot remember who wrote it, but I vividly remember checking it out from the school library and hiding under my blankets to read it. Then I moved onto The Sweet Valley High Series, which had a fair share of romance in them. And then my tastes changed and I devoured Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Patterson. It wasn’t until much later in adulthood that I found my way back to romance novels.

I was at the pharmacy, sicker than a dog, waiting for a prescription. To kill time, I wandered into the book section and started browsing. The first book I picked up was Forbidden Pleasure by Lora Leigh, and in my typical fashion, I randomly flipped to the middle of the book. Page 132 to be exact. (In case y’all don’t know, that page was the middle of a menage scene!) Naturally, I had to go back to the beginning of that scene to see what was going on.

Holy. Hell!

My face was hot with embarrassment, like people somehow knew what I was reading while standing in the middle of the book aisle. Yet, I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what this was all about.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Romance & Wine in the Butler Ranch Series!

Can Naughton Butler risk letting Bradley Saint John into his heart, or will his brother’s secret ruin his one shot at love?

Naughton Butler is a loner, partially by choice, but also because the secret his dead brother left with him could tear his life apart. When he and his brother Maddox inherit four hundred acres of prime vineyard property, they must decide how to manage Butler Ranch Winery, along with starting a new winery on Demetria Estate.

The solution is to hire the new kick-ass, hotter-than-all-get-out, winemaker who just landed on the Central Coast. When Naughton meets Bradley St. John, he’s expecting a man—and she is anything but. Thinking it’s a joke, he refuses to take her seriously. Bradley leaves, forcing him to follow and apologize. He watches as she makes her way through the vineyards, she was born to them, just like he was.

Getting a job with Butler Ranch Winery right out of college, is more than Bradley could’ve dreamed of. When Maddox Butler interviews her for the position, he warns her that Naughton could be difficult, but once he recognized her abilities, he’d back off. The burning question now was, would she want him to?

Naughton can’t stay away from her, even knowing being with her is impossible.

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Guest Post

Favorite Old School Romance Books | Diane Alberts

It all started with a bet…

Kassidy Thomas decided to stop hiding behind her past, and start living, but she didn’t quite bet on that start including her singing a horrible song in front of the handsomest bachelor in the NFL, Wyatt Hamilton. She also doesn’t think he’d then consequently ask her out on a date, but turns out when you’re actually living life…crazy things happen.

He needs to win…

Wyatt Hamilton is a player in every sense of the word. Married to the game, he has no interest in relationships, love, or even second nights with the same woman. But from the second the girl-next-door beauty Kassidy knocks on his door to deliver a singing telegram, nothing goes as planned. He can’t stop thinking about her, and keeps showing up on her doorstep for more. That is, until the unthinkable happens…

And all bets are off.

Hello! I’m Diane Alberts, and I have a new standalone sports romance out with Entangled Publishing called Catching the Player. I tend to write contemporary romance, and as a whole I tend to read it, too, but honestly I started out with historical romance, so my heart will always lie with it. Historical romances are what made me want to write romance.

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Recipes & Romance

Linguine & Clam Sauce & Romance | Mika Jolie

EY Amazon
Recipe Sharing – Linguine and Clam Sauce by Dean Conrad Morello

Every man should have a secret dish he can cook to knock a woman’s panties off. Imagine this. Tonight’s the BIG date at your place. Date #3. The money date. The date where you and your date either screw your brains out, or move on to someone new. A lot of pressure, a lot of performance anxiety. Any little mistake could spell disaster. All of your charms (and ab work) would have been for naught. That said, there’s a few hard and fast rules that need to be followed.

  1. Clean up your place. If you’re too lazy to do it, call in a cleaning service. Generally speaking, chicks hate to use a bathroom with piss stains on the toilet seat. Light some candles. If you’re a man, not living with Mom, there’s at least a 79.3% chance your place smells like beer, farts, and cigar smoke. 
  2. Change the sheets. Ever see a chick’s bed? Twenty-five pillows, shams (whatever the fuck that is), and a comforter cover from Anthropologie. Case closed.
  3. Rub one out. You have to clean the pipes before the big night. Trust me on this one, you’ll actually have an interesting conversation without thinking about having sex every 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Music. You’ll have a couple options. I like Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain. It sets the mood without trying too hard. Remember, if she sees the trap, she’ll bolt, so play it smooth. Be that cool guy, cooking dinner and hanging out. Better yet, give her your phone and ask HER to put on some music. It’s a subliminal way to show her you have nothing to hide, also, that way she gets to see your eclectic taste. (Remember to download various genre) AND she might just tip her hand. If she puts on Kenny G, you know it’s going to be a difficult road. But, if she puts on Otis Reading!!!! Bow chicky bow bow. It’s on. 
  5. Cook linguini and white clam sauce. Let me preface, it’s best to lay the groundwork for her future destruction on the first date. Mention cooking linguini and white clam sauce. If she says, “clams make my throat swell closed,” make something else. But usually they’ll say, “I love clam sauce.” That’s when you give your most flirtatious smile and reply, “perhaps someday I’ll cook for you.” 

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Guest Post

Q&A with Pintip Dunn!

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What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

10 Things I Hate About You

How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days

Love Actually

13 Going on 30

When Harry Met Sally

Oh, wow! Apparently, I like romantic comedies with a number in the title. Who knew?

Describe your favorite scene from each one!

10 Things I Hate About You: Patrick (Heath Ledger) serenades Kat (Julia Stiles) with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” in the football stadium, accompanied by the marching band. Absolutely adorable and hilarious!

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Guest Post

How Katherine Garbera Fell in Love with Romance

Dance with the Devil final
I started reading romance when I was thirteen years old. I had spent spring break with my Grandparents in Okeechobee and my great aunt passed away before I was supposed to go home.  So my uncle came to get me and I spent the weekend with him (my parents and younger sisters were away at a swim meet) and he took me to a flea market where I picked up Johanna Lindsey’s Fires in Winter to read on the bus (my grandparents owned a Greyhound Bus franchise and we could ride for free!) back to my hometown where my dad would pick me up…gosh, that’s a long story. ☺

I wasn’t sure what I was going to get in the book but it was addicting.  I LOVED it and as soon as I finished it my mom gave me some Harlequin Presents novels that she had and I read them too. I was hooked.  I’d take the books my mom and her friend Mrs. Loftin would pass to me to the new-and-used bookstore and trade them in for more books. I was reading at least 5 books a week.

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Guest Post

Romance & Murder | Erin McCarthy

I love a good mystery. And I love a good romance. So as you can imagine, I truly adore a romantic mystery. What’s not to love? You get the unfolding mystery of a whodunit perfectly meshed with the tension of the growing attraction between the hero and heroine.

As a child, I loved shows like Moonlighting and Remington Steele. These shows were a perfect combination of solving the weekly mystery, while giving me just tidbits of the developing romance between the main characters.

This love influenced my reading choices. I read books like Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And I eventually found current authors who also handled mystery and romance brilliantly. Authors like J.D. Robb and Janet Evanovich. I’ve even found current romance authors who deliver the gothic mystery and romance I love so much. Authors like Eve Silver and Erica Ridley.

From the gothics, I discovered I also loved a paranormal aspect to my romantic mysteries. Shows like The Originals with mystery, romance and vampires. Awesome! Even Twin Peaks, with its twisted mystery, strange romances and paranormal elements drew me right in.

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Guest Post

Romance Tropes: The Longtime Crush

UncrossingFinal-Entangled_500x750 (1)
Writing my debut YA fantasy novel, The Uncrossing, I used one of my all-time favorite romance tropes: the longtime crush. There’s something so satisfying about unrequited love slowly becoming returned. First, we get to wallow in some delicious crush angst—all that good yearning and longing and desiring stuff. Every time the object of the crush is obliviously sweet or accidentally cruel, we feel that sting along with the main character. I grew up on 90s teen movies like Can’t Hardly Wait that built on these long, slow-burn crushes.

And when the characters do finally get together? It’s joyful and complete and maybe just the tiniest bit of wish-fulfillment. One of my favorite longtime crushes that finally gets resolved is Ron and Hermione’s relationship in the Harry Potter series. They want each other for years, and both their own personalities and the stress of survival in their world keep getting between them. Ron, in particular, has to work so hard to understand his own feelings and become someone who deserves Hermione. When he finally gets his act together, and they find one another, it truly feels like coming home.

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