Spotlight & Excerpt: His Brother’s Viscount + Giveaway

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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?

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Giveaway

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

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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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Book Blitz: The Townsbride’s Series, by Sophie Barnes

the townsbridge's series

 

The Townsbride’s Series
by Sophie Barnes
A Regency Romance Anthology

Release Date: July 27, 2021

Join the Townsbridge siblings as they risk scandal in the name of love. As a bonus, find out how it all began in a special prequel featuring their parents.

If you love Regency romance, you’ll simply adore the Townsbridges…

Once Upon a Townsbridge Story

The time has come for George Townsbridge to marry. But how can he convince Margaret to give him a chance when he is rumored to be the exact sort of man she hopes to avoid?

When Love Leads to Scandal

When Charles Townsbridge meets a beguiling young woman in the park, he’s smitten. Unfortunately she’s his friend’s fiancée, so he knows she can never be his. Or can she?

Lady Abigail’s Perfect Match

James Townsbridge dislikes Lady Abigail, but circumstance forces the two into marriage. Now, as he gets to know her better, might he discover that his perception of her was wrong?

Falling for Mr. Townsbridge

When William Townsbridge returns from Portugal and meets his mother’s new cook, it’s just a matter of time before he loses his heart completely. But is a shared future possible?

A Duke for Miss Townsbridge

Sarah Townsbridge knows there’s something wrong with the duke next door, so she decides to save him. But is she prepared to fall for a man who has sworn off love forever?

An Unexpected Temptation

Athena Townsbridge ruined Robert Carlisle’s chance at marriage once. Will he keep holding a grudge when she tries to make amends, or will he start seeing her in a new light?

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About the Author

Born in Denmark, USA TODAY bestselling author Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish, and Romanian. But, most impressive of all, she’s been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.

When she’s not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading.

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Book Blitz: The Ice Duchess, by Tracy Sumner

the ice duchess

 

The Ice Duchess
Prequel to the Duchess Society Series

by Tracy Sumner

Regency Romance, Steamy Historical Romance

Release Date: July 22, 2021

A scandalous countess plays matchmaker…for a man she once longed to take for herself.

Georgiana Whitcomb, Countess Winterbourne, is known as the Ice Countess for her rebellious ways and refusal to marry again. But a scandalous Christmas wager fashioned by Georgiana’s childhood obsession changes everything.

The demanding duke needs a bride…

Dexter Munro, mere days from becoming the Duke of Markham, made a promise to his dying father to find a wife by the Twelfth Night. Except the only woman he’s ever desired has vowed never to marry again. Not even to become his duchess.

Georgiana and Dex share a sizzling attraction and a wicked past…but is their scorching passion enough to melt the Ice Countess’ heart?

If you adore sexy Dukes, feisty Duchesses, and a steamy second-chance romance set in the magnificent Regency era, The Ice Duchess is the romance novel for you!

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Excerpt

Chapter One

A boisterous Derbyshire manor where neither hero nor heroine want to be…
December 21, 1820

It couldn’t be, but she knew it was.

Georgiana stood in a shadowed recess beneath the imperial staircase gracing Buxton Hall’s entrance, a beaded reticule dangling forgotten from her wrist, her breath trapped between her lungs and her lips. The fragrances of the season—frankincense, cinnamon, roast goose—swirled, and she closed her eyes, hoping, praying…

But when she opened them, Dexter Reed Munro, the Marquess of Westfield, mere days from becoming the Duke of Markham if the rumor was correct, stood on the lowest step of the flight across from her, his expression amused, his head tilted as if someone had told a joke and he was considering whether to laugh.

When one yearned to hear that laugh.

A horde of fluttering, preening admirers surrounded him, and his smile, polite but winsome, looked so authentic they’d no idea he was soundly rejecting them. She could spot a fake right off. And, heavens, did she recognize the Munro brand of rejection.

He doesn’t care for society, she’d love to tell the flock.

He only cares for his bloody rocks.


About The Author

Award-winning author Tracy Sumner’s storytelling career began when she picked up a historical romance on a college beach trip, and she fondly blames LaVyrle Spencer for her obsession with the genre. She’s a recipient of the National Reader’s Choice, and her novels have been translated into Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish. She lived in New York, Paris and Taipei before finding her way back to the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

When not writing sizzling love stories about feisty heroines and their temperamental-but-entirely-lovable heroes, Tracy enjoys reading, snowboarding, college football (Go Tigers!), yoga, and travel. She loves to hear from romance readers!

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