Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Guest Post: Love at First Slight by J. Marie Croft + Giveaway!!

I am super excited to announce that J. Marie Croft is releasing a new novel! I am a huge fan of puns, alliteration, and witty humor, all at which Ms. Croft excels! I hope you enjoy this deleted scene from her soon-to-be-released novel, Love at First Slight!

A Superfluous Backstory
by J. Marie Croft
Determination to post a chopped chapter here at Leatherbound Reviews may show an abominable sort of conceit, but be assured I have utmost respect for Jakki. Without her, Love at First Slight (LaFS) might have been shelved – and I donʼt mean on other peopleʼs bookcases!

The superfluous, a very necessary thing. ~ Voltaire

Wrapping oneʼs head around the gender reversals in LaFS can be challenging. So, with sheer delete (Yes, yes, there had to be a pun in here somewhere!), Iʼm sharing this backstory before the bookʼs release in November. Readers may want to familiarize themselves with a few of the storyʼs characters.

The following unedited, chopped chapter includes a small backstory on a certain portrait – one that graces the cover and appears in Volume III, Chapter One, of Love at First Slight. (Coincidentally, the word ʻleather-boundʻ also appears in that same section of the book.) 

~Love at First Slight Backstory~
It may not be universally acknowledged, but the unvarnished truth is that a young widow in possession of a good fortune is not necessarily in want of another man in her life. Handsomely provided for by an ample jointure, said widow need not relinquish control of her recently gained property nor surrender her disenthrallment unless, of course, she could find true love, or a close facsimile, a second time around.

A more widely recognized truth is that a single young woman with patrician connections and untold wealth is expected to find a suitable suitor. To surrender such worth to a bridegroom beneath her lofty sphere – no matter how enthralling he might be – would be the stuff of madness or, leastwise, of fictitious prose narrative of the most fanciful stamp.

The dormitory room was a double one, even though the headmistress had insisted there was no such accommodation at her seminary.

“There is now!” A peer of the realm practically growled the words as he handed over an incentive sufficient to make the woman more accommodating and amend her school’s rigid policy. An extra twenty guineas was a small price to pay for his niece’s contentment. If it was within the aristocrat’s considerable power, whatever the girl wanted would be hers for the asking.

A young woman sat upon a narrow bed recently moved into the double room. Though wealthy, she came from the merchant class ranks, bore the taint of new money, and was called a ‘mushroom’ by other pupils. Her new friend had rescued her from Polite Society’s spiteful schoolgirls. The tradesman’s granddaughter had, in turn, saved the Earl’s privileged niece from the same society’s sycophants.

One of the room’s occupants was thought to be serious, reserved, and aloof; the other more cheerful, good-natured, and sweet. Judging by their behaviour and banter one particular night, it was unclear which girl was which.

“Let us both vow, here and now, to only plight our troth for love,” said Jane. “Marriages of convenience just seem so awfully cold and bland.”

“Speaking of this evening’s dinner,” said Elizabeth, “I recently had a meal that was quite the opposite of awful, cold, and bland. Lady Matlock’s cook prepared a meat and vegetable dish with a spicy sauce, served over rice. It was an Indian concoction called curry. If you want to escape cold and bland and instead experience heat, flavour, and excitement, you could visit India. The East India Company conveniently has single Englishmen there in want of wives. It is rumoured Miss Hurst may have to go thither to find a husband.”

“Are you suggesting I curry favour with her?” Jane easily ducked the pillow flung in her direction. “Seriously, Lizzy, I long for romance and true attachment, not a business transaction. Only the deepest affection, I am convinced, shall sway me. Is such optimism impractical?” 
~Continue Reading~
From the publisher:
In this humorous, topsy-turvy Pride & Prejudice variation, the gender roles are reversed. It is Mr. Bennet’s greatest wish to see his five sons advantageously married.
When the haughty Miss Elizabeth Darcy comes to Netherfield with the Widow Devonport (nee Bingley), speculation—and prejudice—runs rampant.
William Bennet, a reluctant and irreverent reverend, catches Miss Darcy’s eye, even though he is beneath her station. His opinion of her is fixed when she slights him at the Meryton Assembly.
As her ardour grows, so does his disdain; and when she fully expects to receive an offer of marriage, he gives her something else entirely .... 

Connect with J. Marie Croft

***Giveaway Time***

Thanks to Meryton Press, Leatherbound Reviews has 2 copies (1 ebook and 1 paperback) of Love at First Slight to giveaway! Open internationally!
To enter, simply comment on this blog post. 
Please leave your email address or Twitter handle so I know how to contact the winner. 
Giveaway ends November 5, 2013.
Best of luck! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Reviewers Wanted Plus Giveaway Winners Announced!

Do you like to read? Like to give your honest, constructive feedback on what you read? Like to receive books in exchange for your honest impressions? Then you may be what Leatherbound Reviews is looking for: We are looking for a few reviewers.

If you are unfamiliar with the types of books reviewed on Leatherbound Reviews, here is a list of genres we review: Austenesque, historical romances, contemporary romance, new adult, and contemporary women’s fiction just to name a few.

If you are interested in reviewing for Leatherbound Reviews, please send me an email with a sample review (a review you have written for Amazon or Goodreads in the past or one you just wrote), what type of format you prefer reading and which e-reader you have, and your contact information to jakki36 at yahoo dot com.  You do not need to have a blog or vast experience writing reviews. We’d love to hear from you. =)

The winners of At the Edge of the Sea by Karen M. Cox are:

Paperback: Monica P.
ebook: Ceri T.

Congratulations, ladies! I hope each of you enjoys At the Edge of the Sea

Thank you to everyone who commented and participated in the giveaway! You all are so wonderful! =) And a special thanks to Karen M. Cox for the great interview and to Meryton Press for the fabulous giveaway! 

The winners of Almost Persuaded: Miss Mary King by P O Dixon are:

Anna & Vesper!!

As always, thank you, everyone, for your comments and participation! I also want to thank P O Dixon for her generous giveaway!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: The Silk Romance by Helena Fairfax

From the publisher:
Jean-Luc Olivier is a devastatingly handsome racing-driver with the world before him. Sophie Challoner is a penniless student, whose face is unknown beyond her own rundown estate in London. The night they spend together in Paris seems to Sophie like a fairytale—a Cinderella story without the happy ending. She knows she has no part in Jean-Luc’s future. She made her dying mother a promise to take care of her father and brother in London. One night of happiness is all Sophie allows herself. She runs away from Jean-Luc and returns to England to keep her promise.

Safely back home with her father and brother, and immersed in her college work, Sophie tries her best to forget their encounter, but she reckons without Jean-Luc. He is determined to find out why she left him, and intrigued to discover the real Sophie. He engineers a student placement Sophie can’t refuse, and so, unwillingly, she finds herself back in France, working for Jean-Luc in the silk mill he now owns.

Thrown together for a few short weeks in Lyon, the romantic city of silk, their mutual love begins to grow. But it seems the fates are conspiring against Sophie’s happiness. Jean-Luc has secrets of his own. Then, when disaster strikes at home in London, Sophie is faced with a choice—stay in this glamorous world with the man she loves or return to her family to keep the sacred promise she made her mother.

Sophie is finally getting it together. Although she still mourns the death of her mother, the rest of her life is moving in a positive direction. Her father is on the mend from the breakdown that resulted from the loss of her mother, and her younger brother’s musical talents are blossoming. Her meddling grandmother is no longer in a position to auction her off to rich young men. Best of all, her college tutor has presented her with an internship that could put her on the path to a career that allows her to rescue her family from poverty.

Then, she sees his picture. He’s the man who owns the company at which she will be working. He’s the man who will be her boss. And, it’s him. The smug grin that taunts her from the pages of this brochure is unmistakably attached to one of her grandmother’s parade of   bachelors. That smile belongs to a man she left in a hotel room four years ago, after lying to him about her own, non-existent engagement.

But, why was this famous race car driver working in a silk mill? And, why had he chosen her, of all people, to come and work for him? She doubted that a man like Jean-Luc Olivier, who changed women faster than he changed socks, even remembered her name. She knew it would be uncomfortable, but she had promised her mother that she would care for her father and brother, and opportunities like this one were few and far between.

Have you ever really wanted to dislike a character, but just could not do it? That is exactly the way I felt with this book. I wanted to find Jean-Luc pretentious and disagreeable. I was determined that he was going to be everything one would expect from a famous athlete with more money than he can handle. And, he is not without fault. But, he is so misunderstood. Behind the tabloid lies and the broad shoulders, Jean-Luc is actually a very loving and generous soul who only wants to do his job and live his life without caring what the media says about him. I liked him, immensely, in spite of myself.

I decided I would be angry with Sophie for falling into the trap of misunderstanding his motives when he extends kindness to her. But then, did I not do the same? She has to trust him before she can accept him for the man he really is, and how can she trust him when she has never known him as anything other than one of her grandmother’s potential suitors? How can she, a girl living in squalor, ever be accepted in his glamorous world?

Although their journey to each other seems to take no time at all once they are reunited, their romance flows at the perfect pace for them.  The book, itself, is so well-written and provides such an enjoyable story, that it flowed at the perfect pace for me, as well.

*Review written by Leatherbound Reviews contributor Heather Head.

Connect with Helena Fairfax
Read It Now!
Kindle | Nook

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: The Viscount's Vow by Collette Cameron

Today I get to take part in ABG Reads Book Tour with my review for The Viscount's Vow by Collette Cameron. It is a pleasure to be a part of this tour. You can also read Ms. Cameron's guest post for Leatherbound Reviews here

Vengeance isn’t sweet, but what if it can take one on an unexpected journey?

Determined to avenge his brother’s and father’s deaths, Lord Ian Warrick sets for London with one purpose: ruin the light skirt whose actions lead to their deaths. All is going according to plan, until Evangeline Caruthers, said light skirt, needs help. Found in a most compromising, though innocent, position, there is only one solution to squelch the wagging tongues: marriage. How will Lord Warrick survive a forced marriage to the very lady whom he was set on destroying?

With her striking Roma beauty and her simple ways, Vangie Caruthers doesn’t quite fit in amongst the haut ton. Following her Roma herritage, Vangie is determined to marry for love or not at all. However, those plans are dashed when she is forced to marry Lord Warrick, a complete stranger. In true Roma fashion, Vangie is intent on making the best of this undesirable situation. But when she discovers the real reasons behind Ian’s presence in London and his speculation behind his brother’s death, will she be able to trust this man she married?

After a rocky beginning, Ian vows he will not hurt Vangie again, but as trouble and adversity abound, will Ian be able to keep his word? Cameron combines just enough angst and misunderstandings with romance and speculation, leading me to read this book in just two sittings; I simply had to know how the conflicts were resolved. And there is where the book fell short for me.

After the excellent ride Cameron took me on, I was disappointed when the resolution came to such a quick and convenient closure. I would have liked to have seen that last scene of the climax played out more. The resolution was just too sudden for me.

The only other issue I had with the book is Vangie’s frequent use of “faith.” Good portions of her sentences begin with “faith.” “Faith, he is even handsomer up close.” “Faith, whatever is going on?” “Faith, she’d become mistrustful.” While I found this repetitious, it might not bother other readers.

I have never before read a book with Gypsies in it. Learning about their culture and ways was rather interesting. Colette Cameron’s research in to the Roma culture is evident as she cleverly weaves their ways into the Regency period. I now have a great desire to see the Romani people first hand and get a glimpse at their easy-going lifestyle.

If you are looking for a Regency read with romance and a bit of suspense, I suggest trying The Viscount’s Vow

From the publisher:
Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a nobleman and a gypsy to marry in this Regency Romance.

Half Romani, half English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.

When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.

At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.

Connect with Collette Cameron
Read It Now!

Join  the other stops on the tour:
October 14 Forget The Houswork, I'm Reading  Review
October 15 Got Fiction  Excerpt
October 16 My Devotional Thoughts Review/Excerpt
October 17 Amys Booket List  Excerpt
October 18 Love Saves The World  Excerpt
October 19 Hanging With Bells  Guest Post
October 21 So Little Time... Guest Post
October 22 Leatherbound Reviews  Review
October 23  Sniffer Walk Books Excerpt/Review
October 24 The Reader Girls Excerpt
October 25 Book Lovin' Mamas Review
October 26  My Book Addiction and More  Review