Must Read Delights that are sure to please!

A quick list for your reading pleasure to kick off the summer!

The Thief by Allison Butler – $3.53
The Healer by Allison Butler – $0.99

Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss – $6.15

Alex (Carolina Cold Fury Hockey) by Sawyer Bennett – $0.99
Garrett (Carolina Cold Fury Hockey) by Sawyer Bennett – $0.99

No Place for a Lady (The Regency Rags to Riches, Book 1) by Jade Lee- FREE
50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee – $6.15

Way of the Warrior by Suzanne Brockman, Juli Ann Walker, Catherine Mann, Tina Wainscott, Anne Elizabeth, M. L. Buchman, Kate SeRine, Lea Griffith – $5.68 (**All proceeds go to Wounded Warrior Project**)

The Millionaire Daddy Project (Men of the Zodiac) by Roxanne Snopek – $2.99

Game Changer (A Bomb Squad Novel) by Melissa Cutler – $4.27

Fifty Ways to Kill Your Larry by Red Door Reads – $0.99

Highlanders by Terry Spear – $3.03

Feeding the Fire (The Rosewood Series, Book 2) – $3.99

Dead Run: Faithful Defenders # 1) by Jeanne Adams – $2.99
Behind Enemy Lines: A Jewel in Time Novella by Jeanne Adams – $0.99
Deadly Delivery by Jeanne Adams – $0.99
The Tentacle Affaire: A Slip Traveler Novel – Book 1 by Jeanne Adams – $2.99

A SEAL’s Pleasure (Uniformly Hot!) by Tawny Weber – $3.99
A SEAL’s Secret (Uniformly Hot!) by Tawny Weber – $3.99
A SEAL’s Fantasy (Uniformly Hot!) by Tawny Weber – $3.99

A Perfect Distraction, A Perfect Trade and A Perfect Catch by Anna Sugden – $3.99

The Whiskey Laird’s Bed by Donna MacMeans – $4.27
Bound by Moonlight by Donna MacMeans – $2.99

The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – $1.99

Stolen Vengeance (Slye Temp Book 6) by Dianna Love – $3.99
Last Chance to Run (Slye Temp Book 1) by Dianna Love – FREE

Series Books that are a MUST read!

Maiden Lane Series by Elizabeth Hoyt

Cross Springs by Caren Crane

Sons of the North by Sandra Lake

Scandalous Gentleman of St. James by Lorraine Heath

Hard Ink by Laura Kaye

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Westen Series by Suzanne Ferrell

London Legends Books 1-4 (Rugby Romance) by Kat Latham – $3.24 each

Sons of Sin by Anna Campbell

Hot in Chicago by Kate Meader

Geek Girls by Gina Lamm

Crossfire by Sylvia Day

Spindle Cove by Tessa Dare

Midnight Meetings by Gina Conkle

The Lawmen Series by Elizabeth Heiter

The Chicago Fire by Susan Wiggs

Stark Trilogy and Stark International by J. Kenner

Dukes of Wars by Erica Ridley

Hot Highlanders and The Sutherlands Books by Mary Wine

Brethren of the Coast by Barbara Devlin **Books 1-6 & novella are each $0.99**

Sweetest Kisses, The Lonely Lords and True Gentlemen by Grace Burrowes

The Light Mage Wars and The Protector Series by Nancy Northcott

Secrets of the Loch by Candace Camp

The Perfect Trilogy by Julie Ortolon

A thief and a frustrated Laird will capture your heart!

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The Thief (Borderland Brides, Book 2) by Allison Butler is a delicious tale of seduction, trust and acceptance.

Lachlan Elliot is frustrated and determined to catch the thief that is pillaging his land. When the identity of the thief is discovered, everything changes. A new plan is set in motion. One that’s created out of need.

In order to fulfill his duty, Lachlan must find a wife and conceive an heir. For Lachlan, the hope of finding a love match is inconsequential to him. There is no room or need for love in his world.

When Lachlan makes an arrangement of sorts for his future bride he must be discrete in order for his plan to succeed. Kenzie Irvine is not one to heel to orders. When the Laird, Lachlan Elliot, reveals his plans, this perky and feisty thief has nae but two options. Surrender to a less than romantic proposal or face the rope. Realizing that she only has one viable option, Kenzie reluctantly agrees.

Kenzie is not aware of the scheming and conniving her family has brought about to ensure her potential misery. What will Lachlan do when he discovers just how far they are willing to go to prevent her from having any happiness?

Afraid of yet another house of pain, Kenzie wonders if Lachlan will take what he rightfully claims to want? Lachlan will not force himself upon any lass. Is it possible for this Laird with a heart of stone to finally find “the one” that will soften his soul? This slow seductive tale will capture your heart and sweep you away on a journey full of men in kilts, the highlands of Scotland and the notion that love can conquer all.

Kenzies family can’t be trusted and all she desires is to be seen for who she really is. Will she let them snuff that fire out too? Lachalan is a forgiving man most of the time and we get to see a compassionate side to this tough and strapping Laird. Allison has a gift of slowly cultivating her characters so that we feel we are right there with them on their journey.

If you previously read the Borderland’s Bride by Allison Butler please note that The Thief is a reissue. I don’t want you to be upset that it seems familiar. Thanks to Allison Butler and Escape Publishing, this book had a cover make-over. I just love a man in a kilt, don’t you? In addition, the story now fits nicely into the series as the author originally intended. Lucky for us dear readers, it’s a fabulous read. Something to sink your teeth into while basking away in the sun by the pool or on a beach perhaps?

I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review. I think the price of $3.53 it’s a great price. Be sure to check out The Healer – check out my previous review ( Another must read that’s just $0.99 right now on Amazon.

With Outlander (Season One) coming to an end next weekend on Starz, it’s time to find another Laird to fall in love with. Thank you Allison for giving us something yummy to curl up to!

Author Info:

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Allison Butler is an author of Scottish historical romance. She spent her early years in country NSW building pretend castles with hay bales and leaping white posts with her army of two older sisters and a younger brother. Many years later, with her mother’s influence, she discovered a passion for words and history, read her first historical romance and was inspired to write her own. She writes by day and cares for the elderly by night. Her love of travel has given her the gift of many amazing sights but none more heart-stirring than the rugged beauty of Scotland. Allison lives in a small town in NSW, Australia, with her very own Scottish hero, two beautiful daughters and a Jack Russell named Wallace. She loves travelling, dancing like no-one’s watching and seeing the sights from the back of her husband’s motorcycle.

A **Spicy Latte** filled with scandal, adversity, change and love. Review, Excerpt & Giveaway!

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The Beautiful One (The Scandalous Sisters, Book 1) by Emily Greenwood is a passionate and epic tale of self discovery and the ability to stand up for what’s right when faced with scandal and adversity.

Our heroine, Anna Black, has discovered that someone close to her family has betrayed her – it’s unspeakable and shocking. Convinced she’s ruined forever, she escapes under a new name and a new identity.

From this moment on, the idea of opening up her heart to anyone is out of the question. Afraid and alone, she fears no one will ever trust her. How could they?

Just tell that to Will Halifax who’s recent introduction to Anna has just thrown him off balance. Miss Black is intoxicating and intrigues him. Much is to be discovered and revealed. He too has secrets and fears. A tragic loss has pushed him towards a life alone and void of love.

However, unsure of his emotions, he behaves like a absolute buffoon towards Anna. Now she’s left wondering just exactly how shattered his heart is. Their daily interaction will test Will’s strength and Anna’s will as they tackle fear, loss, recovery and the chance for love. But first, both must come to peace with their past. Can they do it?

2 JalepenosThis fresh, inviting tale of love and self discovery will sweep you off your feet. The passion in this two pepper delight is sizzling and just enough sizzle to make you tingle. For 18+ and older.

I absolutely loved these characters – multi-layered and strong. Just who is The Beautiful One? Her identity has yet to be revealed. But once it has, everyone will be affected. Nothing is as it seems.

I received an ARC from the publisher for a fair and honest review. At $6.15 it’s the perfect price for an e-book that’s close to 400 pages! Discover Emily Greenwood and the Halifax family – you’ll be glad you did!  What a perfect start to a new regency romance series. I can’t wait to see whose story is next.

Here is an excerpt – see for yourself!

Excerpt from THE BEAUTIFUL ONE by Emily Greenwood:

Rounding the edge of the wood at the back of Stillwell, he was startled to see his ward standing about. She was looking up at a tree in which, from the movement of its leaves and branches, some large creature seemed to be thrashing. A crow?

As he drew nearer to the oblivious Lizzie, he was almost certain he heard a woman’s voice coming from among the leaves. Lizzie stepped closer to the tree and lifted her hands upward, and he saw that on a thick branch perhaps six feet off the ground were perched two feet in past-their-prime dark ankle boots, and above them he was treated to a view of trim calves he could not regret. The surrounding leaves and branches mostly obscured the rest of his recently hired governess. In the instant before Lizzie became aware of Will, he saw that she held in her cupped hands a fluffy white ball.

Lizzie turned and saw him, her mouth forming into an “O” as a voice called from above, “Lizzie? I’m ready for the owlet.”

“Er,” said Lizzie, looking at him. In the clear afternoon light he noticed that her eyes were a different color blue than Ginger’s had been. But the shape was Ginger’s, as were the eyebrows. Not her fault, but he couldn’t go the route of compassion. It would only muddy what had to be. He looked past her and lifted a hand to rub his eyes.

“Miss Black,” he said, knowing he could not avoid asking, “what on earth are you doing?”

There was a pause as she absorbed his arrival and a shifting of the feet on the branch near his forehead as they drew together, perhaps in an attempt at modesty.

“Ah, my lord,” she said from above him. “Good afternoon. Lizzie and I are engaged in returning a fallen owlet to its nest. It was her idea. She is very caring toward animals.”

He could feel Lizzie’s big blue eyes on him though his own were still covered by his hand. He had no doubt as to whose idea it had been to climb the tree. He hadn’t truly expected Anna Black to be a typical sort of governess, had he?

“Come down at once.”

“If you will wait just a moment, my lord,” she said breezily, “I shall be down directly. Lizzie, the owlet.”

Lizzie cleared her throat. “Here.”

He tapped her on the shoulder before she could lift her arms farther. “Give me that creature, please.”

She looked uncertain, but she clearly didn’t want to displease him, and she handed over the motionless owl. He took it carefully from her and did not return her tentative smile. He could feel her eagerness for him to acknowledge her, but he let it flow past him.

The leaves and branches above them shook as Anna Black crouched down and extended her hand for the animal. Her bonnet, the same horrible blue one, had fallen on its strings around her neck again, and her hair, apparently loosened by her climb, curled crazily about her face as if she were some unkempt urchin, accentuating her pert nose and reminding him of her jack-in-the-box appearance from the coach.

Her pink lips pressed outward at the sight of him; doubtless she was annoyed by his arrival, but her expression didn’t draw an answering wave of annoyance from him. Instead, her lips were making him wonder, unaccountably, what it might feel like to be kissed all over by pink butterflies.

“The owlet, please,” she fairly ordered him.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Get down this instant before you fall. I will return the owlet.”

“I am already positioned to do so. If you will just give it to me, I can put it back and then receive your displeasure properly on the ground.”

He grunted. Why did he keep finding himself in out-of-his-control conversations with this maddening woman?

In his palm the owlet’s heart beat with a rapid, stressed flutter. He reached up his hand, and she gently took the animal and disappeared into the foliage.

From above came a few rustling noises, then the angry screech of what had to be an adult owl and a yelp. Fearing Miss Black would fall, he stepped forward to catch her, but at that same moment she jumped neatly down, so that she landed right in front of him.

He grabbed her arms, a reflex to steady her. She didn’t need his help, but their eyes locked, and for a moment he read vulnerability there before it was replaced with the hard glint of independence. She smelled like sunshine and crushed leaves, and he felt the slim softness of her arms and his body’s yearning to hug her close.

She stepped away from him. It had all happened in the space of a few moments.

But as he watched her brush some leaves from her skirts with her head down, that vulnerability he’d glimpsed tugged at him. Who was this woman? Where had she come from? She was clearly educated and intelligent, and though she was too forthright and she dressed terribly, she was not rough, merely unusual.

That life-on-the-edge-of-propriety quality he’d observed in her the night before had suggested that she’d known some hardship, or that she had some burden she might trade for money. And yet today, in the company of his ward, she looked at ease, even if her eyes seemed to be hiding something.

3 copies of The Beautiful One by Emily Greenwood

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner selected by publisher and contacted by publisher at the conclusion of the blog tour

Emily Greenwood

Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance novels are the chocolate of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Connect with Emily Greenwood:
Website –
Twitter –
Facebook –
Goodreads –

Buy THE BEAUTIFUL ONE here: Amazon | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound

A gripping story packed with explosive heat, tension, and action!

Love-Stolen Vengeance 40 percent

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Stolen Vengeance (Slye Temp Book 6) by Dianna Love is packed with explosive heat, tension, and action. It’s a gripping story full of secrets! Every page turned has either a twist or an OMG moment that left me screaming at my e-reader for more!

Dingo Paddock works for the “good guys” but who – or what – those good guys are exactly, he can’t reveal to anyone. Sex appeal, charm and a desire to protect those he cares about draw you to him. If I ever found myself in need of protection, I’d pray for a man like him to have my back.

When an old enemy resurfaces and has sights set on an old flame of Dingo’s, things get complicated fast. Valene “Val” Eklund needs to take care of her ailing father and is convinced her next assignment will bring in the funds she needs for that. In her line of work she’s used to dealing with secrets, disguises and deadlines.

Unfortunately, sometimes clients don’t play by the rules and the chase is on to determine just who she can believe. Val is strong, beautiful and skilled in defending herself. A heroine who is a force to be reckoned with too! Love it!

Ancient artifacts, jealousy, fear and betrayal all merge as everyone tries to figure out who can be trusted. Will Dingo and Val finally realize that they can trust each other or will it lead to more anger, distrust and true madness between them?

For a man like Dingo who must keep his distance in order to protect those he serves, will he finally let Val inside that barrier?

This fantastic series is more than just a romantic thriller – it’s a must read book that fully engages all of your senses right to the very end. If you think you have it all figured out – just wait! Dianna has masterfully told a story that a “must be read” book. While this is book 6 in her Slye Temp series you can read and follow along without any missing gaps in the plot.

I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review. I look forward to the next installment in this series and look forward to reviewing earlier books in this series soon. At a price of $3.99 you must download it today! A perfect book to start the weekend!


Dianna will give away an e-copy of STOLEN VENGEANCE and a set of signed Keeper Kase Cards to one reader. (Open to US and int’l readers. Amazon or Barnes & Noble account required to receive e-books)

Comment below for a chance to win!

Author Info:
Dianna headshot 282 X 323 pixels flopped

New York Times bestseller Dianna Love once dangled over a hundred feet in the air to create unusual marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. Now she focuses her energetic muse on storytelling. The first book she wrote won a RITA® Award and sold out in six weeks. She writes high-octane romantic thrillers and urban fantasy. STOLEN VENGEANCE, book 6 in the sexy, fast-paced Slye Temp romantic suspense series released March 2015, and WITCHLOCK, book 6 in the bestselling Belador urban fantasy series will be out this July.

When not in the writing cave, Dianna loves touring the country on her BMW motorcycle. She lives in the Atlanta, GA area with her motorcycle-instructor husband and a tank full of unruly saltwater critters.

Connect with Dianna on facebook at Dianna Love Fan Page or sign up for the crazy fun on her Dianna Love Street Team
Excerpts of all her books are at

Links and Social Media for Dianna Love


Facebook–Dianna Love Fan Page

Facebook-Dianna Love Street Team


Coffee With Dianna Love & GIVEAWAY …

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First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking a Latte 🙂

What would you order? I love lattes or cappuccino.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.  Your books are described as Romantic Thrillers – that description makes it sound so “on-the-edge-of-your-seat” intense! What drove you to writing romantic thrillers? What type of research did you do to prepare yourself?

I love big complex stories, so I wanted to write a series with a big romance that develops during a big suspense, but one with a larger threat (to a nation or the world), which is why my stories are really not just suspense, but thrillers.  I love what I call “who’s zooming who” movies like The Italian Job.  It’s that thrill of knowing things are getting more dangerous every minute and the romance is tangled up in all of it.  Then … BAM, an unexpected twist. That’s what I go for in my stories. Lots of emotion, lots of action and lots of surprises.

For those who are not familiar with your work, you write paranormal romance and have a paranormal romance series -the Beladors. Is it easy to switch genres when writing? I love when I encounter authors who can write fabulous books in multiple genres, and do it so well. How do you keep every character and story line straight?

I actually enjoy the change from one genre to another one, because then  my “thriller” thinking takes a break and my “fantasy” thinking gets to come out and play.  I’m fortunate to have Cassondra Murray, who is a first reader familiar with all of my series, and she does a great job of helping me catch continuity issues that pop up.  I also go back and re-read prior books to get back into the mindset of those series.  As I do that, I highlight and save passages from the previous books on my Kindle Fire, then I refer to those when I’m working on the next book.

Congratulations on the sixth book in your Slye Temp series that released at the end of March. How many books can we expect in this series? I am reviewing Stolen Vengeance tomorrow and look forward to your next book!

I’m so excited that you’re reading and reviewing STOLEN VENGEANCE!  I hope you enjoy the “ah ha!” moments I wove into that one.  Slye Temp will have seven books in the actual series, but the Slye Temp characters will continue in my upcoming HAMR Brotherhood series.  Readers met Logan and Margaux in KISS THE ENEMY. They got their HFN (Happy For Now), but there were complications.  Logan heads up the North American division of HAMR Brotherhood and now has Margaux with him.  We’ll get to see those two eventually reach their HEA, and we’ll see HEAs for some other Slye Temp characters too, but if I say more I’ll give spoilers for Sabrina and Gage’s book, so I have to shut up now. *grin*

While reading your bio I was intrigued that your first career was as an artist painting signs. What was the most memorable sign you painted? Do you ever miss it?

I do and I don’t .  I don’t miss painting outdoors. I loved painting no matter what, and spring and fall, it was the bomb.  But I hated the winters and 100+ degree summers outside.   As to the most memorable… Wow, hard to think back over all the bazillion miles of walls I’ve painted, but  a few stick out in my mind.

I’ve painted a lot of celebrities, and I remember one in particular.  Whitney Houston was in town, and they drove her to a painting I did. It was a picture of her, and it was on a billboard that was close to the road in Atlanta.  Later I was told she went wild over it, which was incredibly flattering, and I’ve never forgotten that. Another time, I painted a fifty-foot-long sign with five beer bottles in ice.  A major liquor distributor  (the owner) loved it so much he bought the entire sign, dismantled it and had it assembled inside his plant.  But I think all the work I did for Coca-Cola will always be most dear to me, especially during the time leading up to the 1996 Olympics®.  They gave me some outstanding projects that allowed me to stretch my creative wings.

On your website you have a section devoted to motorcycles – I love it! Riding a motorcycle was one thing I was forbidden to do while living at home with my parents. However, one night after a college class I was offered the chance to take a ride on a friends Harley. It was the best hour ever! I never told my parents and was so grateful to have that experienceWhat is the coolest trip you took on your motorcycle and where?

Dianna & F 650 GSAnother hard question!! I had several Harleys at one time and loved them, but I know have a BMW. I think one of my favorite trips was riding up the Pacific coast from California to Port Townsend, WA (where my author friend Mary Buckham lives). We rode through the redwood forest, a place I’d always wanted to go and it was just incredible.  We toured across the top of the country and made our way back to GA.  I’ve had a lot of great trips, including a signing tour I did on my motorcycle a couple years back, because my readers kept asking. 🙂 I rode up to New England last year and that was beautiful.  I had a Harley Softail when I was writing my first book and my husband has a photo of me editing on my pages while I sat on my bike as it was parked on a ferry ride that lasted about 90 min.  Lot of memories on my bikes.

Thanks so much for hanging out – I had a blast!

Thank you so much for inviting me.  I love hanging out with readers!

Tantalizing Tidbits – A Baker’s Dozen:

1. What is your must read book and why? Ready Player One, because I keep hearing about it and I haven’t had time to crack that one open.

2. What is one place I should see if I visit your hometown? Stone Mountain Park.  There is no other version of that mountain in the world, and the history of it still baffles geologists, plus the carving is on the largest exposed granite in the world.

3. Castles or Beaches? Beaches

4. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you? I enjoy heights and collect hand-cut eggs.

5. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist? Love pretty much all music, but Spanish guitarists will always capture my attention.  I also love jazz, vintage rock, contemporary rock, and country.

6. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go? Scotland.

7. What is your guilty pleasure? Peanut M&Ms. 🙂

8. What are you afraid of? Not tellin’.  *grin*

9. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one? None yet, still thinking, and my hubby is prodding me. 

10. What’s your favorite TV show and why? LOVE The Voice, because it’s so positive, and fun to watch people reach for their dreams. I also LOVE The Blacklist because that is great writing.

11. One thing you can’t live without. My husband. 😉

12. Do you love to cook or go out to eat? My husband’s a fabulous cook so I’ll stay home with him anytime.

13. If you could invite 5 people to dinner (not friends and family – that’s too easy) who would you invite? It could be anyone past or present. Leonardo Da Vinci because he was such a creative thinker and inventor that it would be amazing to ask him questions, Amelia Earhart (shouldn’t have to explain), Whitney Houston to ask her to sing one more song for me, Gutzon Borglum, to ask him if he was nervous when he made that first strike to carve Mount Rushmore, John D. MacDonald, to ask him to tell me one more Travis McGee story.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your time.

Thank you, Rae!!


Dianna will give away an e-copy of STOLEN VENGEANCE and a set of signed Keeper Kase Cards to one reader. (Open to US and int’l readers. Amazon or Barnes & Noble account required to receive e-books)
Comment below for a chance to win!
Tell us…what’s in your mug?

Author Info:

Dianna headshot 282 X 323 pixels flopped

New York Times bestseller Dianna Love once dangled over a hundred feet in the air to create unusual marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. Now she focuses her energetic muse on storytelling. The first book she wrote won a RITA® Award and sold out in six weeks. She writes high-octane romantic thrillers and urban fantasy. STOLEN VENGEANCE, book 6 in the sexy, fast-paced Slye Temp romantic suspense series released March 2015, and WITCHLOCK, book 6 in the bestselling Belador urban fantasy series will be out this July.

When not in the writing cave, Dianna loves touring the country on her BMW motorcycle. She lives in the Atlanta, GA area with her motorcycle-instructor husband and a tank full of unruly saltwater critters.

Connect with Dianna on facebook at Dianna Love Fan Page or sign up for the crazy fun on her Dianna Love Street Team
Excerpts of all her books are at

The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress – Excerpt & Giveaway


The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress


January 4, 1888

Millworth Manor

“You want to do what?” Jackson Channing stared at Lucinda Merryweather as if she had suddenly grown two heads. Which would have been most curious even here at Millworth Manor. Although from what Lucy had gathered during her stay thus far, it might not have been the oddest thing ever to have occurred at Jackson’s father’s ancestral estate.

“No, Jackson,” Lucy said firmly, resisting the urge to heave a long-suffering sigh. She had known he would not take this well. Apparently, it was one thing for Jackson to head toward the unknown and a life of grand adventures and quite another for Lucy to do so. Regardless, he no longer had any say in what she did or did not do. She settled into one of the chairs in front of the desk and cast him her most pleasant smile. “I don’t merely want to do this. I fully intend to do this.”

“You intend to somehow set right the regrets of a woman you never met.” Disbelief rang in his voice.

“That’s not entirely true. I did meet my Great-aunt Lucinda, but I was very young and simply don’t remember. She died when I was five.”


“There is no nonetheless, Jackson.” Goodness, the man made her want to stamp her foot in frustration. Fortunately she had given up such childish behavior years ago. Still, it would have been most satisfying. “I was named for my great-aunt and she left me her fortune, which I received on my twenty-first birthday.”

“Yes, I know that but—”

“There were no stipulations on the inheritance, if you recall. However, I also received a letter from Lucinda as well as a thin journal. A book of regrets, if you will.”

“Just because she had regrets does not mean that you are under any obligation—”

“I know exactly what it does and doesn’t mean, Jackson. And I do wish you would stop being so . . . so disapproving.” She glanced around the Millworth library and the numerous family portraits interspersed between endless shelves of books. Each and every portrait glowered with disapproval. “Although this does seem to be the place for it.”

“Lucy, I—”

“And do sit down.” She rolled her gaze at the ceiling. “I hate the way you’re standing behind that desk glaring at me.”

“I like standing. It gives me the advantage.”

“Not really.” She smiled sweetly.

He huffed, took his seat, and leaned forward over the desk. “I have known you for all of your life and I have always felt, well, responsible for you.” He paused. “Just because our circumstances have changed does not negate that responsibility.”

“Actually, Jackson,” she said in as kind a voice as she could manage. “It does.”

For years Lucy and Jackson, as well as their respective families, had assumed they would one day marry. But whenever the time had come to officially announce their engagement, there had always been some perfectly legitimate reason to put it off. It had slowly dawned on Lucy that perhaps they were not meant to be together. And perhaps deep down inside, both of them knew it. The realization had brought with it a great deal of relief. She truly loved Jackson and suspected she always would, but the affection she felt for him was not unlike that she had for her brothers. And it did seem to her if one was going to marry a man, the feelings one had for him shouldn’t be anything remotely brotherly.

Both their lives had changed when Jackson discovered the father he had long thought was dead was not merely alive but had no knowledge of his son’s existence. And discovered as well he was heir to an English title. When Jackson came to England with his newfound father to meet his family, it did seem that fate had handed Lucy the chance she had assumed lost forever. She had freed him from any obligation to her and set her own plan for her life in motion, at least tentatively. It was the specifics that were vague. But again fate stepped in and Lucy had jumped at the chance to accompany Jackson’s mother, Elizabeth, to England. Now that she was here, she had no intention of returning home to New York anytime soon. No intention of becoming once again the placid, well-behaved daughter of a director of Graham, Merryweather, and Lockwood Banking and Trust.

“You will always be my dearest friend,” Jackson said staunchly.

“As you will be mine.”

Poor, dear Jackson had fallen head over heels for a friend of his family’s. Unfortunately, she was as independent as she was lovely, and a few days ago both their hearts had been broken. Lucy had tried to talk to Jackson, to encourage him to go after the lady, but it was to no avail. He was as stubborn as the woman he loved. Still, Lucy firmly believed in the notion of true love and soul mates and destiny. And wasn’t the mere fact that she and Jackson were not together proof of that? Lucy was confident Jackson and Lady Theodosia would eventually find their way back to each other.

However, as there seemed to be nothing Lucy could do about Jackson’s life at the moment, it was time to turn her attention to her own.

“I am well aware that I am under no obligation to Great-aunt Lucinda, at least not legally, but I feel a, well, a moral obligation if you will. I was quite moved by the letter she left for me and by her regrets, but there was nothing I could do about it when you and I had our lives planned out for us. Now, everything has changed.” She shook her head. “I do not want to reach the end of my life and have a list of those things I wanted to do but failed to so much as try. The very idea terrifies me. I don’t want regrets of my own.” She met his gaze directly. “And if I don’t do this for her—for me— I know I will.”

“Perhaps . . .” He settled back in his chair and chose his words carefully. A deceptively casual note sounded in his voice. “You should do those things you’ve always wanted rather than those someone else wished to do.”

“Excellent, Jackson.” She fixed him with a firm look. “And just what do you suggest those might be?”

He shrugged. “I have no idea.”

“Unfortunately, neither do I.” She crossed her arms over her chest and drew her brows together. “Every bit of my life has been planned and expected up until now. I’ve never veered from the course set out for me. Why, I never even questioned whether you and I should marry. At least not aloud.”

“Nor did I,” Jackson said under his breath.

“But as I am no longer expected to marry you, I’m not sure what I want to do.”

“Surely you wish to marry someone someday?”

“Oh, probably someday, but at the moment . . .” She shook her head. “I feel very much like a bird who has at long last been released from its cage.”

“Thank you,” he said wryly.

“Come now, you know what I mean.” She waved off his comment. “Now that I am free, I have no idea what I want to do with my freedom. Until I determine that, it seems the best course is to do those things my great-aunt never had the opportunity to do.”

“I’m not sure that is indeed the best course. Still . . .” He studied her for a moment. “You haven’t told me what these regrets of your aunt’s are. I’m assuming the worst, you know. That they are all improper or scandalous or dangerous.” “Not all of them.” She had no intention of telling him everything on Lucinda’s long list, but she could tell him one or two items. “Some of them are a little silly and some are really rather sweet. For one thing, she always wanted to have a dog but was never able to have one as dogs made Great-uncle Charles sneeze. There are quite a few that are as innocent as that.”

His eyes narrowed. “But not all of them?”

“Well, some are a bit more daring.” She cast him an innocent smile. “But not substantially so.”

“I don’t believe you for a moment.” He shook his head. “I don’t think this is the least bit advisable, Lucy.”

“Why not? You’re going off to do exactly what you want. Aside from the notion of following in your father’s adventurous footsteps, your plans are even less definitive than mine. Why shouldn’t I do what I want?”


Author Info:


New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and has never looked back. Victoria grew up traveling the country as an Air Force brat and is now settled in a very old house in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two allegedly grown children and two bearded collies. She firmly believes housework is a four-letter word, there are no calories in anything eaten standing up, procrastination is an art form, and it’s never too soon to panic.

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