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BookBlitz: What Secrets has she got?

Secrets of a Duke’s Daughter
The Duchess’s Investigative Society, #1
Samantha Holt
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
Independent
March 8th 2021

A duke’s daughter must be prepared for whatever life—and love—throws her way…

Lady Cassandra Fallon is finally ready to take control of her life and join her late mother’s investigative society. She’s more than confident she can do the job—even when her first case involves a potentially deadly scandal. What she’s not quite prepared for is her brother’s attractive (and increasingly distracting) friend acting as her self-appointed bodyguard…

When Lord Luke promised his best friend he’d keep an eye on Cassie, he meant it. But the brazen and entirely too alluring woman she’s become is a far cry from the mischievous, freckled girl she used to be. Luke knows a lowly viscount has no business longing for (or touching) a duke’s daughter. But against all reason…he does…

She craves independence. He only craves her. An epic battle of the sexes is at hand. But will love be enough to get them to happily ever after? Cassie and Luke will soon find out…

A duke’s daughter must be prepared for whatever life—and love—throws her way…⁣

⁣⁣⁣USA Today Bestselling author @samantha_and_duke is back with a new series, The Duchess’s Investigative Society! Book 1, Secrets of a Duke’s Daughter, is out NOW! Get it FREE on #KindleUnlimited ➞ https://amzn.to/3kLvM2F⁣

⁣⁣⁣#Bibliophile #Bookshelf #BookClub #Bookish #Booksy #BookNerd #BookWorm #hisfic #historicalromance #SamanthaHolt #XpressoTours @XpressoTours #Bookstagram #bookstagrammer #BookBlogger #BookQueen #BookLove #BookStack #GoodReads #BookShark #BookCommunity #ReadersOfInstagram #BookBabe #Reading #BookAesthetic #BookishPost

Excerpt One:

“Anton will not be pleased you are keeping secrets.”

“Anton is not here, and even if he were, he would not be as tiresome as you are being.” She shook her head. “I know you mean well, Luke, but I am not going to get into trouble as my brother fears and it is rather tedious to be treated as though I am still a little girl.”

Oh he well knew that. If she were, he would not have to dwell on how womanly she appeared in her powder blue pelisse. More slender than technically fashionable, her figure still teased, the coat hugging under her breasts and offering a hint of curves.

Luke prided himself on being an equal opportunities sort of a man, finding himself attracted to a variety of traits but there was something about the tall length of Cassie that made him want to claw at his gut to rid himself of the itch there.

If he had a penny for every time he’d thought of her naked over the last year or so he’d be, well, still too poor to afford Cassie’s upkeep but it would certainly buy a decent meal. His desire to see her long legs, bare and spread out on his sheets, or those delicate breasts free of their confines bordered on the obscene.

He clenched his jaw and watched their progression through the busy London streets. Drivers cursed one another and pedestrians darted between the vehicles, slowing the journey to an agonizing pace. He needed it over as soon as possible so he could breathe Cassie-free air and rid himself of this madness.

Because, damn it, she was Anton’s little sister.

“I will never understand why you do Anton’s bidding. Surely you have better things to do with your time?”

He allowed a tight smile. Cassie had little idea quite how wild he had been back in his college days and how close he had come to ruining his life forever. He considered that perhaps he should tell her and frighten her away for good, but he couldn’t bring himself to see the disappointment in her gaze.

“I gave Anton my word to protect you, Little Cassie, and I am a man of my word.”

She made a dismissive noise and lifted her gaze to the roof of the closed carriage. “You men and your word. I would rather see action than words.”

Luke’s throat tightened and he swallowed hard, but the knot did not budge. She wanted action. He wanted to give it to her. By some miracle, he managed to remain on his seat and resist the desire to leap across the gap between them and pin her to her chair, ensuring they went absolutely nowhere while he showed her exactly what sort of action he was capable of.

“I am here, in your carriage, escorting you to your friend’s house.” He forced a relaxed smile that felt borderline fraudulent. “That is action, Cassie.”

The redness in Cassie’s cheeks deepened. “Must you be so…relentless.”

“I must.”

“Well, I do not care what anyone has told you, it is a frustrating trait.”

Luke smirked to himself. Frustrated by him she might be, but he doubted Cassie felt even half of the frustration he suffered by simply being in her company.

Today would be a long day.

Book & Author Details:

AUTHOR BIO:

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Samantha Holt is known for fun, witty, and usually steamy historical romances. She’s been a full-time writer for longer than she ever thought possible having originally trained as a nurse and an archaeologist. She’s a champion napper, owner of too many animals, mum to twins, and lives in a small village near the very middle of England.

She’s usually writing (or napping) but when she’s not, Samantha is plotting (books of course!) with her husband, drinking coffee, climbing hills that are far too high for her fitness levels or visiting stately homes and pretending she’s posh.

You can claim a free book by signing to to her newsletter www.samanthaholtromance.com

If you’re not sure where to start, why not try:

Capturing the Bride (The Kidnap Club #1). A fun Regency read full of spice and an unusual heroine trying to escape an arranged marriage and a hero who has no idea how to keep his hands off her!

You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.

There Are Plenty More Dukes in the Sea (The Inheritance Clause #1) is a fun, steamy read focused on the Templeton family as they fight to save their inheritance.

Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.

To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.

Author links:

https://www.facebook.com/samanthaholtromance/

https://www.instagram.com/samantha_and_duke/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6458884.Samantha_Holt

https://samanthaholt.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=cd4c9a291cda3d8398f6cc6b2&id=497911adeb

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Bridesmaid for purchase: Book Review

The Secret Bridesmaid Book Cover The Secret Bridesmaid
Katy Birchall
Women's fiction, Contemporary fiction
Hodder & Stoughton
13 May 2021

Sophie Breeze is a brilliant bridesmaid. So brilliant, in fact, that she's made it her full-time job.

As a professional bridesmaid, Sophie is secretly hired by brides to be their right-hand woman, ensuring their big day goes off without a hitch. From wrangling rowdy hen dos to navigating last minute portaloo cancellations, there's no problem she can't solve.

So when she's employed by an actual Marchioness to help plan the society wedding of the year, it should be a chance for Sophie to prove just how talented she is.

Of course, it's not ideal that the bride, Cordelia, is rude, difficult and determined to make Sophie's life a nightmare. It's also a bit inconvenient when Sophie finds herself drawn to Cordelia's posh older brother, who is absolutely off limits. And when a rival society wedding is announced, things get even more complicated . . .

Can Sophie pull off the biggest challenge of her career, follow her heart and maintain her reputation - all while keeping her true identity hidden?

A job as a bridesmaid/ wedding planner in disguise. Interesting take on how to undertake a job when disguised. Hair dyed, name changed, relationship with bride changed – and then she is doing this multiple times all at once! How does she remember which story to tell to which set of friends and relations?
Of course, there comes a time when things don’t work smoothly. The bride doesn’t want her as her bridesmaid/planning helper. And finds inventive ways to try and persuade her to leave, but as the bride wasn’t the employer it was difficult. And of course, the bride had a dishy brother and…
Nicely written I thought, and I particularly liked the innovative use of a large blue IKEA shopping bag – and a dress – but I’ll not spoil it by telling you how.
My main concern with the story is that it again encourages the ‘Princess’ wedding. The idea that the wedding day is all about the bride and how she wants it to run and how much money – lots – will be spent on a fantasy day.
My husband and I were talking about this earlier this week. A wedding is not about the bride. It is a joining of families and two best friends in a compact for life. What she or he wears is pretty irrelevant to this, as is the colour of the napkins or bows on the chairs. Or where the wedding is held or or or… If the wedding itself is that important than why do all the fripperies matter? A simple ceremony with family and friends and maybe a meal together afterwards is all that it needs. What is worn can be anything that they all feel good in and needn’t be designer, frothy or… My wedding photo below!  

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How many children? Book Reviews

In Her Candy Jar Book Cover In Her Candy Jar
Svenssons
Alina Jacobs
Romantic Comedy, Womens' Fiction
Kindle

I am always fully in control of my company, my family, and my life. Even my diet is perfectly regulated—that includes no candy.

Except when my new assistant sprays chocolate sauce all over me and passes out drunk in my car, it marks the point where my control over everything starts to unravel.

Josie is a walking disaster and some sort of sugar addict.

And she's determined to turn me into a fiend for her candy.

Josie

Routines are the enemy of life. I live to be spontaneous.

My new billionaire boss looks like he needs something sweet in his life. I graciously offered to let him stick his hand in my candy jar.

It has salt water taffy and gummy worms! I can't believe he thought it was inappropriate!

I feel sorry for the guy. His little brothers are miserable, his PowerPoints are uninspired, and his life is seriously lacking in joy. And candy.

Though if I'm being honest, I could use a little more discipline. My YOLO, fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants philosophy already sent my life into a tailspin.

It cost me the entirety of my life savings.

I'm living in a dilapidated tiny house that’s trying to kill me.

I regularly eat chocolate chips and boxed wine for dinner.

In an effort to redeem myself, I set out to show Mace that I wasn't a clumsy, car destroying, electronic-killing, accident-prone, walking disaster. That lasted all of five minute before I set his seaweed and quinoa lunch on fire. Yeah, I didn't know that was a thing either. 

I can tell I'm a bad influence. I see him lick his lips when we're alone. I just have to convince him to take one little bite…

Because once he has a taste, he's going to want to stick his whole face in my candy jar!

Alina Jacobs’ books
So Alina has written quite a number of books in a very short time.  She writes at night as she is an architect by day – but when does she bake? Or look at Instagram for baking ideas? I say this because baking of cakes, muffins, biscuits and the like, appear in nearly all the books as being main characters. And the contents are inspiring for the amateur baker – inspiring them never to try anything quite so complex!
[PS, I asked her directly, and she admitted she didn't bake, but got inspiration from others on the Net.]
She has a number of series running - all about (at the moment) hot brothers who have turned themselves, after a bad childhood for different reasons , into billionaires. Oh, and they all seem to look alike. 
The Svenssons all look like blond Vikings and the Frosts all have whitish hair and like the cold weather, and the Holbrooks have brown hair. They are all 6 foot 5 or more. 
The Frosts have a sister who is mentioned, Belle, The Holbrooks have a sister, Dana, who is mentioned, and the Svenssons don’t quite know how many sisters they have – their father is on his, at least, 11th sister-wife, as he runs a polygamist cult in the desert. He keeps the girls well secreted away as they are valuable resources in such cults; the boys are sent off to Harrogate and the eldest boys – Remy, and Hunter, and any others who happen to be in residence. They estimate that there are around 100ish boys that their father has had through his wives. So plenty for Alina to write about, although some are quite young when this series starts. And we don’t have the names of all of them yet, nor which wife is their mother, although nearly all wives have multiple children.
The boys that marry in this series seem to fall for curvy girls/women – which makes sense that they would like similarly built women, as the Svensson genes are very predominant and the father marries blond girls to enhance the ‘look’.
And the wives in these stories usually manage to cook something for the majorly hungry boys – imagine having over 30 people for EVERY meal! Help always needed to feed hungry young stomachs.
 In the series about the Frost brothers, they relate what happens at a reality TV show about Baking at Xmas and the bakers that the brothers fall for.
The Svenssons tend to have a variety of girlfriends and wives, all of whom can cook to some extent, but may have other jobs too.
The Holbrooks get involved and involved with, the artisans of the Weddings in the City co-operative.
 I found myself confused with the Svenssons particularly. And with there being so many of these guys at all ages from the triplets at 28 months to Remy at well over 40 it was tricky, so I was delighted when I found the book in which Alina identifies all the Svenssons and which wife they come from. It is worth noting that not all of them visit Harrogate, as at some point there was a major rift and some live in Boston or Seattle. [books on these will follow]
But full brothers tend to stick together. 
The young boys are put on a train by their father and sent from his desert home to Harrogate, a journey of around 72 hours. Alone. Henry being the youngest to whom this ever happened at age 4 or 5, they weren't sure. But Hunter normally knows when they are coming because he has paid his father for them! The brothers have founded several companies together. Some consultancy, some real estate, others computing. They prefer to do this than work for other people. They then employ the younger guys as Interns and Juniors to learn the business. The Holbrooks operate in much the same way, although there are far fewer of them.
So here goes – Svenssons.
1.       Merla Vee
                               i.            Remy : Rural Trust - a veteran who came out with some small mental issues that make him very shy and very fond of animals.
                               ii.            Hunter : Lawyer : very controlling as he keeps order with all the boys that come to him. When they arrive, the young boys tend to be semi-feral, with no social graces, unable to speak properly, and very underfed.
                             iii.            Gunnar : Romance Creative: TV Guru.
                             iv.            Mace :CEO Svensson Pharmatech
                               v.            Archer : CEO Greyson Hotel Group - appears very laid back but has a surprisingly  successful business.
                             vi.            Garrett: CFO Pharmatech: lots of medicines and other such items.
                            vii.            Weston : CEO ThinkX: consultancy of various types especially projects.
                          viii.            Blade: COO Thinkx
                              ix.            Parker: CTO Pharmatech
2.       Athlyn
                              i.            Greg : CEO Svensson Investments: tends to be the funder for all the investments and improvements for the family.
                              ii.            Walker: COO Quantum Cyber: the very technical end of the businesses. including Security and Govt contracts.
                             iii.            Mike : COO Greyson
                             iv.            Beck: CFO Greyson
                              v.            Liam: COO Platinum Provisions: amazing cooking implements with great precision.
                             vi.            Carl: Managing Partner Investments
3.       Amyra
                                 i.            Salinger
                               ii.            Unknown how many more
4.       Mary Beth
                               i.            Crawford
                               ii.            Josh : Svensson and Svensson Law
                             iii.            Eric: Svensson and Svensson law
                             iv.            Unknown how many more
5.       Sueanne
                               i.            Unknown how many
6.       Brenna: younger boys
                              i.            Tristan: college
                             ii.            Eli: college
                             iii.            Isaac: high school
                             iv.            Calvin:
                             v.            Ronan
                             vi.            Theo
                            vii.            Payton
                          viii.            Andy
 
7.       … not yet named with children
8.       …not yet named with children
9.       Idonna
                               i.            Bruno
                              ii.            Oris
                             iii.            Ellis
                             iv.            Orlando
                              v.            Scout
                             vi.            Oscar
                            vii.            Arlo
 
10.   Payslee
                              i.            Adrian
                              ii.            Nate
                             iii.            Billy
                             iv.            Henry
 
11.   Kimberly
                                 i.            Davy
 
There are also triplet toddler boys, as yet with no name or mother identified.
List of books in series:
Holiday Romance:
Eating her christmas Cookies
Eating her Baked Goods
Tasting her christmas Cookies
Tasting her Chocolate Cake
Frosting her Christmas Cookies.
 Svenssons:
 After his peonies
In her candy jar
His candy crush
On his paintbrush
Paint him
In her pumpkin patch
                  This is one of the stories about the Svenssons and how Garret is trying to rescue all the boys his father had had with his 9, and counting, wives.
See also Japanese Pancakes – which again are a new item of baking to me, but sound delicious.
 In her pumpkin pies
Between her biscuits
Peaches and cream
Peony for your thoughts
After her fake fiancé
After her wedding cake
In her jam jar
In her pumpkin butter
Tulips together
 
Weddings in the City
Bridezillas
Short engagement
Wedding bells
Wedding mayhem
 Now I have read all the books and the freebie Epilogues provided by the author, but I won’t review them - but I recommend them all for a lighthearted, humorous look at a type of life most of us will never encounter. The boys all tend to be adventurous, inventive, entrepreneurial right from a young age, and end up with money - lots of it. Their romances don't go well but they end up happy. The main pull of these books for me is the humour and the amazing set up of the family. An author who starts with a potential 100+ characters to follow as they grow up has ambition! Several families and good female friends get involved at various points and then there is a lot of cake involved!
 

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Secrets not always best kept: Book Review

The Earl With The Secret Past Book Cover The Earl With The Secret Past
Janice Preston
Fiction, Historical, Regency
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon, Harlequin
June 25, 2020
368

An unexpected inheritance An explosive reunion. Hardworking architect Adam Monroe’s world is shaken when he inherits an Earldom! Thrust into the ton, he bumps into widow, Kitty Fenton – his lost love. Years before, he’d refused to elope with Kitty to save her from ruin, and was heartbroken she’d married so soon after he left. Perhaps fate has given him a chance to discover the truth – after all beneath the hurt the sparks of attraction are as strong as ever…

This is another version of the historical trope with an unexpected inheritance of a title. The Earl as he becomes, was not expecting to inherit but instead to work for a living, but a death up the line – his father in fact, thrust him into the role. It turns out his mother had been lying to him all his life about who is was…
And the horror of this lack of knowledge had meant that he had paid the price in his youth for not marrying the girl he loved, as he thought himself too lowly in society for her. And of course, she then went on to marry someone else.
But now she was a widow and he had the chance to gain her back. So the trope begins. But Kitty was not the girl he remembered. In her marriage she had grown up to be a woman of strength and ideas, and marrying again was not one of these ideas. So a courtship begins. And ends as we all expect with a marriage.
Nicely written with the nice initial plot twist layering onto the trope.  

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Who has time to Date? Book Review

Nicole Book Cover Nicole
(Sewing in SoCal book 3)
Sarah Monzon
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humour
BooksGoSocial, Radiant Publications (29 Nov. 2020)
January 7, 2021

Who has time to date when she’s trying to raise a miniature human by herself AND save the planet from its irresponsible inhabitants? Not to mention my winning personality (snort) and my curves-have-curves figure (eyeroll) don’t exactly attract the opposite sex. Unfortunately, none of these reasons have stopped my best friends and SoCal sewing sisters from taking on the archaic role of matchmakers, and they’re not beneath a little bribery if that’s what it takes to get my cooperation. Let’s just say everyone has their weak spot, and donations to my favourite charities is mine. If I were to consider a romantic relationship, my dream guy certainly wouldn’t be immature, everything-is-a-game Dr. Drew Bauer. The man raises my body temperature faster than global warming does the Earth’s! But life seems determined to keep throwing us together, especially now that one of my SoCal sewing sisters is engaged to his best friend, in which case there can only be one of two outcomes: 1. I kill him in a fit of annoyance. 2. My common sense escapes me, and I fall in love with him. Honestly, I'm not sure which would be worse.

The story starts with the Blind Date.
You know the one.
Set up by your friends who are worried about you and you agree to go under protest – and here because they promise to make a donation to your favourite charity.
And you are curvy and your date doesn’t believe you don’t eat a lot – especially fatty fried food – and orders for you. Food you don’t want.
And he flirts with the waitress, makes derogatory remarks and implications about your shape and size and then leaves.
The story is told by both characters, Nicole and Drew, so we learn early on that he really likes her in an sort of she irritates him and he keeps thinking about her sort of way – and so the trope begins.
I liked the storyline. I liked Nicole and her values and her daughter and her mother too.
I approve of environmental concerns and definitely saving the whale and reducing plastic use. Nicely written and fun to read.

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