Novel Reaction is excited be a part of the Blog Tour for Katharine Ashe’s I Adored a Lord, the second book in the The Prince Catchers series. First let’s get to know a little more about Katherine.
Award-winning, best-selling author KATHARINE ASHE writes intensely lush historical romance, including How To Be a Proper Lady, among Amazon’s 10 Best Books of 2012 in Romance, and eight other acclaimed novels set in the era of the British Empire. With the publication of her debut novel in 2010, she earned a spot among the American Library Association’s “New Stars of Historical Romance.” She was a nominee for the 2013 Library of Virginia Literary Award in Fiction, and in 2011 she won the coveted Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Romantic Adventure. Katharine is also a finalist for the 2014 RITA® Award, the highest honor in the romance fiction industry, for How To Marry A Highlander. She lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History at Duke University, Katharine writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve high adventure and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about her books, please visit her at www.KatharineAshe.com.
I thoroughly enjoyed my way through I Adored a Lord (your can read my review here) and am thrilled to be able to share with you an excerpt from it.
He was nearly a head taller than she and certainly the most handsome man she had ever stood so close to, with his shirt of close-woven linen and waistcoat of brocaded silk. The whisker shadow of the night before that had scratched her chin had gone; his cheeks were smooth and high-boned, his jaw firm. “You seem remarkably comfortable with all of this.”
“I was at war, Miss Caulfield. There is little that can discomfit me now.”
But that was not the entire truth. He was not at ease as he seemed to study her features now.
“As you can see, I have knowledge that can help you find the murderer,” she said.
“What suggested to you that I have any intention of pursuing such a course?”
“Of course you have, or you would not have brought the body here and bribed the servants to keep it a secret from everybody else.”
“I did not bribe them.”
“You must have. I would have. After you tell the prince, I suppose he will summon the local law to investigate. When it arrives, let me help.”
“I cannot in good conscience allow that.”
“Then allow it in bad conscience.”
“You must allow me to help.”
“And yet I will not, despite my wish to please you.”
“You don’t wish to please me. You wish to thwart me.”
“You are correct. In this at least.” His gaze slipped to her shoulder, then her arms she was hugging to her waist, passing over her breasts as though they were not there. “Your lips are blue. You must retire to the warmth of your bedchamber. I will instruct Monsieur Brazil to send up a maid to build your fire again.”
“Aren’t you concerned that the murderer might realize we have discovered the body and will know that I know about it, and will come after me?”
That muscle twitched in his jaw again, but she did not know if humor or pique inspired it. “Yes.”
“If you keep me close, he won’t be able to get to me easily.”
“Interesting choice of words from the woman who vowed not two hours ago that she would not in this life come close to me again.”
“To solve the mystery of the murderer,” she said, her tongue abruptly dry, “of course.”
“Ah.” A smile caught at the corner of his mouth, the dent peeking out. “Of course.”
“I have plenty to recommend me to this investigation that the local police will appreciate.”
“An expertise in deaths involving medieval armor, perhaps?”
“A female body.”
That stalled him. Again his gaze dropped but this time it more than grazed over her breasts; it lingered. “I will admit I am not seeing how that makes you an expert investigator to murder.” He lifted his eyes to hers. They were decidedly dark and not entirely focused. The night before, his eyes had looked like this when his body atop hers had become aroused.
“I can speak to the women at this party in a manner in which I suspect you cannot. In regular conversation that seems like gossip I can encourage them to reveal information that could be valuable to discovering why this man was murdered and stuffed into a suit of armor. I will investigate this murder whether you or the local police wish me to or not.”
There was a stillness about his contemplation of her that at once made her breathe more deeply and unnerved her.
“You have me against the wall, it seems,” he finally said.
“The moment I have cause for concern over your safety, I will remove you to the village.”
“You will do no such thing. You haven’t the right. I may not actually be a lady, but I am a guest of the prince—”
“Who will do as I advise.” He seemed entirely confident of this.
Suspicion prickled at Ravenna. “Who is to say you are not the murderer, and now that you know I have useful information you won’t dispatch me too?”
“None but me.”
She glanced into the darkness where the butler had disappeared, then back at the tall, dark man who had subdued her quite effectively in a stable the previous night. “This is the part where you pull out the bloodstained dagger, isn’t it?”
“Why wouldn’t I have done it earlier, before Monsieur Brazil knew of your involvement?”
“No doubt you only thought of it at this moment.”
“It seems I am carelessly shortsighted.”
“You are not the murderer?”
“Go to bed.” He grasped her fingers and tucked them around the lamp handle. For a moment his large, strong hand encompassed hers, and she thought that no man who murdered another could possibly have such a marvelously warm, gentle touch. Then he released her. “The prince will call the party together after breakfast. If you truly intend to assist in this—”
“You must have your wits about you.”
“I always have my wits about me.”
“I think I am coming to see that.”
“You haven’t dispatched me because you know you need my help.”
“Do I?” He took a half step closer. “Or perhaps I have not yet dispatched you because, as depraved as I am, when I look at your lips I can feel your body beneath mine in the straw. If I were to do away with you now, that scenario could never be repeated.” …
I missed reading the first book in The Prince Catchers series but I will definitely be reading the rest of the books in the series.
The Prince Catchers Reading Order:
I Loved a Rogue (February 2015)
Elizabeth Jennings and her fifteen-year-old daughter Claire have relocated from the big city to a tiny town in Virginia so Claire can bring the local newspaper into the digital age. In The Ghost Next Door by Ginny Baird, both Claire and Elizabeth are concerned when it turns out the house they are renting sight unseen is next door to a cemetery. When creepy things start to happen in the empty house next door, Elizabeth is grateful the sexy single sheriff is there to help her out. But Elizabeth trust her heart to someone who fits in so well in such a small town?
Nathan Thorpe likes taking care of the people in his town and he is content to take care of everyone equally until Elizabeth moves to town, now he finds himself wanting to take of her and Claire and becoming a family. But Nathan knows that he is in Blayton Virginia for a reason, but as that reason becomes clearer will he be able have the family he wants?
Okay, I have to admit that the ending of The Ghost Next Door totally threw me. Baird does a great job of foreshadowing the ending but she does it in such a way that I expected a different ending than what really happened. The romance between Elizabeth and Nathan was sweet and I loved the secondary relationship between Claire and Perry. I found The Ghost Next Door to be an entertaining quick read and I loved the scene where the teenage girls broke into the empty house to scare Claire and managed to freak themselves out instead. The mystery elements are a nice combination with the sweet romance stories in The Ghost Next Door but I have to admit that I am disappointed that we don’t get the romance story of Dan and Belle.
Title: Ghost Next Door
Author: Ginny Baird
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 190
Publisher: Winter Wedding Press
Release Date: August 2013
Available for purchase: Amazon
**I received a copy of this book from the author but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.
Nate Dean will do anything to save his brothers, even if it means seeking the help of the one woman he loved and lost. In Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti, Nate and his brothers are genetically engineered soldiers, born out of test tubes they have still managed to create their own family but now their very lives are at risk. Nate must discover a way to stop the explosive chips that have been embedded near their brains before time runs out and the chips explode.
Audrey Madison was once married to Nate Dean but when his life was threatened she gave him up instead of allowing him to be killed. Never did she think Nate would enter her life again or that only she would be able to help him discover a way to save his family. But will helping Nate destroy everything she has worked so hard to attain? Even worse, will it destroy what is left of her heart?
Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series keeps getting better and better and Blind Faith is a fabulous addition to the series. Audrey is the strong but yet believably vulnerable woman. However, it is the Sin men who really steal the show for me, Nate had my heart once I read about what he went through to provide Christmas for his brothers when they were younger, I just wanted to hug all of the brothers at that age! Truly believing that he won’t survive, Nate hasn’t thought about a future in far too long but Audrey makes him want to have a future leaving Nate torn between his duty to his brothers (and their new wives) and the possibility of a future with Audrey. My biggest complaint is that we were spoiled with the previous three novels being released so close together and now we have to wait almost a whole year to read Total Surrender, the final book in the Sin Brothers series.
Be aware there is some language in Blind Faith including use of the “f” word.
You can read an excerpt here.
Sin Brothers Reading Order:
Total Surrender (March 2015)
Title: Blind Faith
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 384
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Available for purchase: Amazon
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.
Amity Doncaster is used to facing dangers as a globe-trotting writer but she is completely unprepared for being kidnapped in London. In Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick, Amity is kidnapped by the serial killer known only as The Bridegroom, thanks to her quick thinking and always traveling prepared she is able to escape the masked man but knows he is going to come after again. Having caught the Bridegroom’s attention because of her connection to the mysterious Benedict Standbridge during their boat trip from the Caribbean, Amity is upset when she finally reconnects with Benedict in London.
Benedict Stanbridge owes his life to Amity, when he hears about the attempted kidnapping he rushes to her side, eager to protect her from further harm. Benedict is shocked by Amity’s reaction but is determined to protect her at all costs, even if he has to marry her to do so.
Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick is a stand alone historical romantic mystery. In some ways it is your typical Amanda Quick, clever main characters, complex plot and passionate connections, however, the path to true love is never smooth and that is especially true in Otherwise Engaged. After feeling an immediate connection, Amity and Benedict are separated for a time and then the Bridegroom gets involved. Amity was fabulous, independent, strong-willed and resourceful. Benedict was clever and continually finding himself in situations that his previous experiences have left him unprepared for but he rose to the occasion admirably. I really loved what Ms. Quick said about monsters, “For some reason the most jarring thing about [name omitted to protect the surprise of discovering the murder yourself] was that he appeared so normal. There was nothing remarkable about his neatly combed light brown hair, his thin face or his lean build. It would have been quite easy to pass him by on the street without taking any notice of him whatsoever. But that was the thing about the true monsters of the world, Amity thought. They were so dangerous because they were able to hide in plain sight.” I recommend Otherwise Engaged as a fun quick read.
You can read an excerpt here.
Title: Otherwise Engaged
Author: Amanda Quick
Format: Hardbound, eBook
Page Nos.: 352
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Available for purchase: Amazon
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.