Spotlight & Excerpt: A Most Unusual Duke + Giveaway

A MOST UNUSUAL DUKE

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the A MOST UNUSUAL DUKE by Susanna Allen Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

Title: A MOST UNUSUAL DUKE
(Shapeshifters of the Beau Monde #2)

Author: Susanna Allen

Pub. Date: December 28, 2021

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Formats: Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

 

Bridgerton meets Werewolves Within in this sparkling shapeshifter Regency romance mixed with humor, steamy chemistry, and fantasy. The Duke said he’d never get married…

 

The Prince Regent insists his cousin and fellow bear shifter, Arthur Humphries, the Duke of Osborn, take a mate to ensure the continuation of their species. After all, Arthur is an Alpha, so he must set a good example. The duke would very much prefer to continue his comfortable bachelor lifestyle, but the Prince Regent is not a bear to be poked.

Beatrice, the widowed Marchioness of Castleton, is in possession of a powerful secret. She knows all about Shifters, her horrible late husband being one of them. At any moment, Beatrice could reveal the secrets of the Prince and those like him—unless the Prince can make sure she marries another Shifter.

A marriage between the Duke of Osborn and Beatrice is far from ideal for either one, but at least they won’t fall in love…right?

Witty, fantastical, and entirely unique, A Most Unusual Duke is perfect for readers looking for:

• A delicious Regency romp with a paranormal twist
• A devilishly handsome Alpha hero
• A marriage of convenience
• A magical world to sink your teeth into


Excerpt:

Beatrice is the widow of the Marquess of Castleton, who she discovered was a wolf Shapeshifter. She has been using this knowledge to ensure that George, the prince regent, leaves her and her fortune alone — until he decides he has plans for her and his cousin, Arthur, Duke of Osborn…

“The lady knows better than you, Artie.” The diminutive was delivered with pique. “And she knows her leverage over Us must inevitably come to an end.”
A shiver ran down her spine. It was true: she was not so foolish as to have thought her protection would stretch to the end of her life. She had suspected she would be killed by one of these creatures in due course. Would the prince see to her end himself, or would he require his cousin to dirty his claws?
“There is a letter among my personal effects that reveals the secrets I kept, should I meet a mysterious end.” She lied without compunction.
The result was an arched brow from the prince and a light touch on her elbow. “Our kind can scent an untruth,” said the duke, who sounded regretful.
“Well played, nonetheless,” said His Highness. “Secrets weigh equally heavily on the keeper. I will relieve you of your burden and elevate you at the same time, dear Beatrice, if I may.”
“No. You may not.” She would run, to America, to the Antipodes—
“Were you to flee you would not get far. My influence would precede you to the very ends of the earth.” Beatrice met his gaze, as she was not meant to, as would be treasonous under any other circumstance that did not involve the knowledge she kept close. He looked vaguely apologetic as he continued. “Do you tell your tale, I will have your mental capacity questioned. I will see your fortune disappear in the snap of a finger. In addition, your family will fail to benefit from your candor. Is your youngest sister not about to make her debut? I will ensure she has the most disastrous of Seasons, at the hands of—”
“Monster.” Beatrice set her shoulders. “Beast.”
“Odin’s breath, ma’am,” the duke gasped.
“My formidable enemy.” George smiled; Beatrice questioned his mental capacity, but even she would not say so, given the state of his father’s. “My soon-to-be cousin by marriage.”


Reviews:

“Allen continues to make this unusual genre mash-up sing.” ― Publishers Weekly

“Susanna Allen Writer’s writing is SO GOOD. It sucked me right in. I think you’ll love it, too.”- Julia Quinn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Bridgerton series.

 

 

Grab all 3 books in the Shapeshifters of the Beau Monde series now!


Book Trailer:

 

About Susanna Allen:

Susanna Allen…… moved to Ireland for twelve months — in 1998. Having gained a Master of Philosophy in Irish Theatre Studies from the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, she embarked on a career in theatre criticism, eventually moving into feature writing on all things cultural, as well as lifestyle-oriented subjects for major Irish titles across newsprint and magazines.  Writing as Susan Conley, she is the author of Drama Queen and The Fidelity Project, both published by Headline UK, and the soon-to-be republished That Magic Mischief. Her memoir, Many Brave Fools: A Story of Addiction, Dysfunction, Codependency… and Horses is published by Trafalgar Square Books and recounts the growth and insights she acquired after having taken up horse riding as an adult, post-divorce.

Susan is living her life by the three Rs: reading, writing and horseback riding, and can generally be found on her sofa with her e-reader; gazing out a window and thinking about made-up people; or cantering around in circles. She loves every minute of it!

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of A MOST UNUSUAL DUKE, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/4/2022

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Review

4/4/2022

Fyrekatz Blog

Review

4/5/2022

The Reading Devil

Guest Post/IG Post

4/5/2022

More Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

4/6/2022

@theheavycrownreads

Review

4/6/2022

BookHounds

Guest Post/IG Post

4/7/2022

A Court of Coffee and Books

Review/IG Post

4/7/2022

Sadie’s Spotlight

Excerpt/IG Post

4/8/2022

Owl Abridged

Review/IG Post

4/8/2022

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two:

4/11/2022

Quill Tree Fox

Review/IG Post

4/11/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt/IG Post

4/12/2022

Nagma TakeALookAtMyBookshelf

Review

4/12/2022

Fire and Ice

Review

4/13/2022

Eli to the nth

Review/IG Post

4/13/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

4/14/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

4/14/2022

@jypsylynn

Review

4/15/2022

onemused

Review/IG Post

4/15/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review

 

Spotlight & Excerpt: The Christmas Unicorn + Giveaway

the christmas unicorn banner

The Christmas Unicorn

by Elf Ahearn

Genre: Regency Romantic Fantasy

 

The greatest gifts aren’t always under the Christmas tree.

Believing herself abandoned by her fiancé in the wilds of Northern Wales, actress Babbie Crispen and her wheelchair-bound son struggle to find shelter on a frigid night before Christmas.

A strange man the locals call the Wicked Scot finds them near death on a snow-covered hillside. He brings them to his castle, a place of both terrifying and wonderful magic so powerful it changes all their lives.

christmasunicorn - excerptDreading what she would find, Babbie stepped over the rope and walked several yards until she saw a swirl of river water lapping across the road.
“Retreat,” he said, then imitated a bugle blowing.
With a sigh, she turned the chair around.
“We’ve had worse,” her son said.
“Confess.”
“When a pot boy delivered Mercutio a pewter of ale in the middle of Queen Mab, and the audience near pissed itself laughing.”
Chuckling, she gave his shoulder a playful slap. “No cursing.”
To the right, the road branched off. They’d come about half a mile, and there was no use seeking charity from the likes of Mr. Gaenor, so Babbie steered the chair around the corner. Before long, pushing the vehicle grew harder and harder. A cloud skimmed out of the moon’s path, its light revealing huge, steep Pen-y-Bryn Hill looming before them. Carriage wheels and rain had dug deep furrows in the road, exposing rocks that jutted through the snow. A hidden pothole could tip her son’s conveyance.
“I’ll pull myself up the hill,” Franny said, cheery as a duck in water. He tossed himself with a flutter of the blanket into the snowy bank edging the road.
“It’s a very long, steep one.”
“I’ve crawled up worse.” He dug a mitten deep into the snow and hauled himself forward.
“You haven’t.”
“Aye, at Keswick. Now, that was a terror.”
“True terror was the night the stagehands didn’t finish the set and had to hold it up during the performance,” said Babbie, trying to lighten their spirits. “There’s the worst night for ya.”
“Oh, we’ve had worse.”
“Not possible,” she replied, yanking the heavy chair over a rock as she passed him.
“When you went up on your lines, remember? And stood there staring at the—”
“Don’t remind me.”
“Or the night Sarah Siddons came to All’s Well That End’s Well and you tripped over the—”
“Oh Franny, stop,” Babbie said laughing. “I’ve no wind to defend myself.”


Elf Ahearn was an actress, a journalist, a communications specialist, and the worst mathematician the insurance industry ever experienced. Fortunately, she is now a dedicated kitten mom and the author of “Regency romance with a Gothic twist.” For one brief, shining moment, her first book, A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing, was #1 in its category on Amazon. Elf lives in New York with her romantic hero and the aforementioned cats. And, in case you were wondering, Elf is her real name… Her parents are interesting people.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Unicorn Figurine (US only),

$10 Amazon giftcard (WW)

– 1 winner each!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight & Excerpt: His Brother’s Viscount + Giveaway

BANNER1 - His Brother's Viscount

His Brother's Viscount - Stephanie Lake
Stephanie Lake has a new MM historical Regency romance out: His Brother’s Viscount. And there’s a giveaway!

As a baron’s youngest son, Hector Somerville has no real prospects. He will not inherit, and he’s overshadowed by two perfect brothers. While searching for ways to improve his situation, Hector finds respite in an invitation to a country estate—and has a second chance at rekindling his illicit affair with Viscount Wentworth, captain of HBMS Dragon. The upcoming fortnight could be everything Hector dreamed of since their disastrous parting.

Wentworth has forsaken love, and yet, memories of guilt and heartache resurface. He loved a boyhood friend once, Hector’s older brother William, until the man left him, trampling his heart in the process. Years later, he wonders if he ever fell out of love. Is his heart bound by William, or can he create a life with Hector?

Universal Buy Link | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Smashwords| Bold Strokes


Giveaway

Stephanie is giving away two Bold Strokes Books (publisher) gift certificates with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link


His Brother's Viscount meme
 

Excerpt

Hector raised his face to the warm spring sun. The gods had worked together to make this a perfect day. Well, he had a small part in making all the components align correctly, of course. He smiled, looking forward to what lay ahead.

Flourishing spring-green grass spread all the way to the surrounding forest, the manor house stood bright against a vibrant sky, and a light breeze cooled the air and carried the scent of woodbine.

He admired the spread of food arrayed on large linen-covered tables. One dish containing meat in a dark gravy filled the air with a savory fragrance that started his stomach to rumbling. The crystal, which sparkled in the sunshine, was filled with the best wines from France, and delicate porcelain tableware was arrayed for the guests’ use.

Youngsters chased one another about. The light giggles of two young women and the hearty laughter of young men added to the festive air. Yes, it was a glorious day, brimming with joy, but the party alone could not explain the gale-force euphoria surging through his body.

In fact, he could not remember life ever being this enjoyable. Especially not in the past eighteen months. Certainly not in the past eighteen months.

His favorite—well, his only, but he knew she would always be his favorite—niece’s christening had progressed along wonderfully. But his attention wandered to things other than the party. Even with the warm sun, he shivered thinking about the night to come. If he wasn’t careful, he might even sport wood. Now wouldn’t that be a shock to old Aunt Dorothea?

“Well, don’t you look like the man who stole the raspberry tart?” Will slapped him on the back with a bit too much enthusiasm.

Hector winced but would not let sibling rivalry ruin his day. He’d always been smaller than his two older brothers, and Will’s mere presence reminded him of his deficiency.

“Careful, you might drop Pug in your attempt to collapse my left lung.”

“I’d never drop my precious girl,” Will cooed to the babe in his arms. “And stop calling her Pug.”

He looked up at Will—two inches up, to be exact. Two very important inches. Two inches and a scar that changed common, everyday looks into the dangerously dashing Dr. William Somerville. It wasn’t only size that distinguished the two of them. Will had his jaunty black hair, black eyes, and a swarthy complexion. Hector had washed-out mud brown, faded mud brown, and light mud brown.

But today it didn’t matter that he was small and forgettable. Today, Hector felt like Apollo himself.

“’Fraid I cannot stop calling her Pug, old man, not until she grows into those ears of hers.” He laughed at Will’s puckered expression. “By the way, the celebration is going well. All the work your wife forced us into this morning paid off outstandingly.”

The early hours they spent tacking up decorative paper in the high-ceilinged grand hall and around the stone balustrades made the inside and outside of the manor rather festive. They’d rearranged furniture and pinned up paper decorations for his brother’s first child’s first party. Margaret Harriet Philadelphia Somerville. What a designation. Will had taken leave of his senses when he labeled the poor girl with that name. But even with that taint, Pug was a sunny child with her mother’s fawn-colored hair and her father’s rambunctiousness. At just three months, she managed to grab everyone’s attention, a little sun at the center of whatever room she occupied. It’d taken Hector two months to decide he really quite liked the girl even though she was an unsightly pink, wrinkly thing that smelled of curdled milk.

“My little girl’s ears are in perfect proportion. She is beautiful.” Will glowed, simply oozing fatherly pride. He acted like a simpleton around his squirming bundle, making funny squeaking noises and wiggling his fingers—as he did now—to make his daughter laugh. And she did laugh, with a toothless, infectious mirth.

Hector laughed with her and ruffled the baby’s tuft of downy hair.

Will’s attention, as usual, was divided between his daughter and his wife, Mary. She chatted with guests, lovely in a sunny yellow muslin afternoon dress. Mary was one of those natural beauties who were always attractive. In fact, she probably woke up pretty, even with rumpled hair, pillow marks on her cheek, and sleep in her eyes.

Anyone who glanced at them could tell that Will and Mary were besotted. That was what he wanted. He wanted someone to stay by his side, to wake up with every morning. Someone to grow old with. Someone he found beautiful even with rumpled hair, pillow-creased cheeks, and a sparkling drop of drool on silk sheets.

A stupid romantic, he, ever since boyhood; but on a day like today it was hard not to be. Because even if he didn’t quite match up to his older brothers, it didn’t matter. Somebody had noticed him again, and today that somebody would collect him for an extended stay in the country.

He had magnificent plans for this fortnight. He rubbed his hands together, the friction warming his fingers, getting them ready for anything. Everything. Yes, joy filled his body today, and nothing would ruin his optimism for the future. Not even his brother’s perfection.

Even so, he stiffened when Will said, “You enjoy little Margaret so much, you should marry, have your own children.”

“That won’t happen, Will. You know why, so leave off.”

Tight-lipped, Will looked about to say something. Fortunately, Mary joined them at that moment. “How are my three favorite Somervilles?” she said in her soft, smoky alto. She leaned over and kissed her daughter’s forehead, then brushed the fuzzy locks back into place. She glowed with pride, just like her husband. “Hector, I believe you are as fond as we are of our little girl.”

“Actually, I spent the day planning my revenge. I will take her on outings, spoil her rotten, and then give you back an overexcited and insufferable child.”

Will groaned with an age-old weariness. “Save your strength. I will simply hand her off to Nanny Pennington if you do so. Besides, you’ve given me enough trouble throughout my lifetime. I don’t need her following in your footsteps.”

“Me? You were the one who tormented me to distraction and tears. And got me into predicaments where I required doctors to sew me up.”

Will laughed. “I will not deny Stephen and I were terrors, but in my defense, he usually instigated the worst of the pranks.”

Hector snorted but knew he’d been partly to blame, always following his older brothers, wanting to be as big, bold, and brave. They’d picked on him because he’d been the youngest, the weakest. It didn’t matter. Hector no longer held animosity over his brothers’ dealings. To be honest, they hadn’t been that bad. They shared brotherly affection. They held together through their father’s drunken abuse. In fact, Hector could remember times when Will took the switch meant for him.

He did appreciate his older siblings. It was just that sometimes, when the days were gloomy and he did not quite know what to do with his life, the comparisons to perfection rankled.


Author Bio

Stephanie Lake is the pen name for a husband/wife team who enjoy writing happy endings and steamy middles. We write historical and contemporary LGBTQ+ and M/F romance. Inspiration for our stories comes from living in seven countries and traveling around the world. Wherever we wander, our beloved four-legged family member is not far away.

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