Blog Archives

Manda Collins’ new novel, ONE FOR THE ROGUE, hits shelves today!

If you’ve been waiting for Gemma and Lord Cameron Lisle’s story in the Studies in Scandal series, your wait is over! Happy book release day to Manda Collins and everyone in Romancelandia who has been enjoying this delightful historical romance series (with a touch of mystery and intrigue!) One for the Rogue is a fabulous book to end this series. Here’s an overview to whet your appetite.

LOVE IS THE GREATEST DISCOVERY OF ALL

Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing romance―and no patience for Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of always honing in on her territory. . .annoyingly handsome though he may be. But when a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offers of protection. Even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. . .

Lisle was once amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work. But now that he understands how much he’s underestimated her―a woman whose beauty is matched only by her genius―Lisle is desperate to prove his respect…and prove himself worthy of her. But is he too late? A bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Lisle help uncover the culprit and keep her safe―forever, in his loving arms?

Here’s what readers and reviewers are saying about One for the Rogue

“A fine conclusion to a Regency series dedicated to celebrating the intellectual and artistic achievements of women.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Readers who like their Regency historicals smart, sexy, and served up with plenty of dry wit and a generous dollop of intrigue will find One for the Rogue, the latest sparkling addition to Collins’ Studies in Scandal series, to be a rare find.” —Booklist

“…the characters were lovable, the sexy times intense and the mystery kept me riveted.” —Stacey is Sassy (Goodreads)

“This was a delightful read and I didn’t want to put it down once I’d read the first page. Well, actually, I didn’t put it down — I read it straight through and enjoyed every minute of it.” — Barbara Rogers (Goodreads)

“This was such a fun and lovely historical to read–complete with a murder mystery, a scholarly and enigmatic matriarch, a hate-to-love romance, and an elusive fossil.” — Angie (Goodreads)

 

Happy book birthday, Manda! We love you! — Your KaT sisters!

Carey, Diana, Gwen, Krista, Lena, Rachel, Sarah, and Sharon

The Studies in Scandal Series…

 

Learn more about Manda Collins and her novels at her website.

You can click the +Follow button on Amazon to hear about Manda’s future releases.

Wallflower Most Wanted Release Day!

Happy book birthday to Manda Collins! Wallflower Most Wanted is out today!

THE PICTURE OF ROMANCE
A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overheard conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even if it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation―and threatens to capture her heart…

Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either…

especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible?

 

“Witty, sensual historical romance that will captivate readers.”
—Romance Junkies

Five Surprising Things About Manda Collins

Manda Collins is fascinating. To the outside world, she seems like a quiet academic. But we, here, at Kiss and Thrill have uncovered the truth. Here are five surprising things you might not know about our resident historical romantic suspense author.

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1. Manda has degrees in English and Librarianship — which means she knows how to find absolutely anything out. What kind of boxers or briefs did men wear in the Regency? She’s got it covered. What is the best kind of carriage for her horse-racing crazed heroine (Hermione) to drive in her newest volume in the Lords of Anarchy series? What a piffle to discover. Her mind is like one giant research volume on everything historical — and otherwise. And that love of detail shows up in everything she writes.

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2. Manda has a rapier wit. Only she could take one of her heroines (Amelia from The Perks of Being a Beauty) and put her in a “Most Interesting Man in the World” Dos Equis commercial for her book trailer!                 

3. She lives with three cats named Stephen, Tiny, and Toast, and her sister, and a dog named Charlie, and is crazy about all five of them — equally.  😉

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4. Manda is so popular, people started preordering the third book in the Anarchy series, Good Dukes Wear Black, even before the second one, Good Earl Gone Bad, was released!

5. Historical isn’t the only genre Manda writes in. She also has a contemporary romance about lawyers titled Legally Yours.

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Here’s the blurb from Good Earl Gone:

Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice–wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses?

All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune–and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process? 

Want to read more? Click here to read an excerpt.

Congratulations on the release of Good Earl Gone Bad, Manda!

 

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Congratulations to Sandybar57, Celia Fowler, Jacquie Biggar, Erika Kelly and Rebecca James! Each of you has won a digital copy of JULIE MULHERN’s cozy mystery: THE DEEP END. Please click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab and let us know the appropriate email address.

An Excerpt from GOOD EARL GONE BAD!

Good Earl Gone Bad (1)While the rest of the KaT gang is off living it up in NYC at the RWA Conference,  I thought I’d share some deets about my next book with you guys.

Good Earl Gone Bad is the second book in my Lords of Anarchy series,  only this time around the Lord of Anarchy is actually…wait for it…a lady! Lady Hermione Upperton to be exact!

But things aren’t so easy for the first female member of The Lords of Anarchy,  and soon she’s teaming up with the haughty gambler, Lord Mainwaring to clear her name when she’s accused of murder.
Coming October 6, 2015
ISBN-13: 9781250061072
ISBN-10: 1250061075

Audacious, extravagant, indulgent-the Lords of Anarchy live at top speed, with nothing to chase but pleasure…at every imaginable cost.…

TEMPTING FATE

Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice—wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses?

RISKING ROMANCE

All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune—and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?

EXCERPT

“For a club called The Lords of Anarchy,” said Miss Ophelia Dauntry wryly as she scanned the crowded ballroom of Lord and Lady Payne, “they seem remarkably well behaved.”

As the current president of the once notorious driving club, Lord Payne had done much to repair the club’s image in the eyes of the haute ton. And part of that campaign had been the invitation they club had extended to Lady Hermione Upperton, whose membership was the reason for tonight’s celebration. They had even gone so far as to celebrate her induction with a rout instead of what they might otherwise have done—taken the excuse to drink to excess in their favorite tavern on the Brighton Road.

“I think we all know why they are behaving so prettily,” Lady Hermione said with a speaking look. She was under no illusions about the reasons for her warm welcome into the brotherhood. But as a driving enthusiast with a desire to take her place among the sporting elite, she was happy to take whatever chance she could get.

Especially since her father had done his level best to keep her from fulfilling her dream by threatening every other club with a lawsuit if they allowed his daughter to become a member. Only the Lords of Anarchy had ignored the Earl of Upperton’s threats and extended the invitation.

“I believe you should be chatting with your new compatriots,” said Mrs. Frederick Lisle—more commonly known as the celebrated poet Leonora Craven. “Especially since you are looking so lovely.”

Hermione smiled at her friend’s compliment. It was true that she felt far more fashionable than she was normally accustomed to in her deep blue silk gown. The color contrasted with her creamy complexion as well as bringing out the blue in her eyes. And she’d chosen to have her maid dress her dark hair in a newer, softer style which was more becoming than her usual utilitarian chignon. Though she was now a member of a club that was known for its masculine pursuits, she hadn’t wished them to forget that she was still a lady. And as such she would bring a new sensibility to the membership.

“Thank you, Leonora,” she said, suppressing the urge to twirl about. “I was sure Ophelia would faint dead away on seeing me rigged out in such finery.”

“I always knew you had it in you,” Ophelia said primly. Then in a lower voice said, “I’m just happy you chose to put away your dowdy gowns on an evening when there are so many handsome, eligible gentlemen around.”

“Are we interrupting?”

Ophelia’s consternation was almost comical as she realized that Leonora’s husband, Freddy, was behind her.

“Of course not darling,” said Leonora with a twinkle in her eye as she made room in their little circle for both Freddy and the two men flanking him: the Earl of Mainwaring and the Duke of Trent. Friends from school, the three had once been four—with Leonora’s brother Jonathan rounding out the group.

“I am surprised to see you here, Mainwaring,” Hermione said with a raised brow. “I thought you were firmly against the notion of ladies participating in such rough pursuits.”

As if he knew how much it would irritate her, Mainwaring raised his quizzing glass and surveyed her with it. When he lingered in his perusal, she found herself blushing.

Finally, dropping the eye-piece, he mimicked her quizzical expression. “I do not believe you are showing any signs of masculinity, Lady Hermione,” he drawled. “So I suppose I must withdraw my objections.”

His sigh, which was heartfelt, only served to further annoy her.

That he was as handsome as he was provoking vexed Hermione even further. With dark unruly curls that cried out to be tousled and the fine boned features of a Renaissance angel, he would have been called pretty if he were a woman. But he was most certainly not—as his wide shoulders and trim waist attested. Yet, Hermione could focus only on his maddening personality.

“You are the most infuriating man,” she said with a scowl. “Do you really have to enjoy setting my back up so much? It’s most unbecoming.”

Mainwaring gave a shrug. “Perhaps not, but it’s far too amusing for me to give up.”

She wondered idly if it would spoil the party in her honor if she were to start a brawl. Likely not, but knowing that the Lords of Anarchy wanted to rejuvenate their image, she could jeopardize her membership. And though it would feel wonderful to snatch away Mainwaring’s quizzing glass and smash it into tiny pieces, she would not risk her new place, even for him.

“There is more to life than amusement,” Hermione retorted. “In fact, I would find it most amusing to…”

“Children,” interrupted the Duke of Trent “I believe our host is approaching his guest of honor.”

Hermione, without the height of the duke to let her see above the crush, stared in the direction Trent had indicated, and soon saw that he was correct. Lord Payne, accompanied by his lady wife, was headed their way.

“My dear, Lady Hermione,” said the viscount, “I hope you are enjoying yourself. I see that you have found your friends.”

He smiled politely at the circle around her, but without warmth. He and Freddy had crossed paths during the tenure of the previous club President, who was also Freddy’s cousin. And it was obvious there was no love lost between the men.

“I am pleased to see so many of the membership came out to support you, Lady Hermione,” said Lady Payne, her hand lying possessively on her husband’s arm. Hermione wondered if that was for her benefit. It cannot have been easy for her to stand by his side through the wilder exploits of the club. “I do wish you will consider me a friend during your membership. As the only lady, I know it will be difficult for you to find your footing.”

Definitely for her benefit, then Hermione thought ruefully.

Aloud, she said, “Thank you, Lady Payne. That is most kind of you to think of me.”

“Nonsense,” her host contradicted his wife. “I foresee no issues for Lady Hermione with the other chaps. We are not the first driving club to admit ladies, after all. So long as she knows her way around a coaching pair, she’ll be fine.”

Lady Payne flushed in embarrassment. Hermione exchanged a speaking glance with Leonora—there was something very unhappy about that match.

Before Hermione could break the awkward silence, Payne gave a brisk nod. “We’ll leave you to it then. I shall see you later this week at the first club muster of the season in Hyde Park. We meet by the Queen’s Gate.”

And just as quickly as the couple had appeared, they disappeared back into the crush of guests.

“Well, that was awkward,” Mainwaring said once their hosts were out of earshot. “I wonder if he is that charming with all ladies or reserves such bombast for his wife.”

For once, Hermione couldn’t argue with him. But if she were going to succeed in the club, she’d need to accept the bad with the good. Even if it meant suppressing her dislike for the way the club’s President treated his wife.

“Once a bully, always a bully,” said Freddy grimly. “I had hoped he’d become a bit less difficult with my cousin Gerard gone, but it would seem that the leopard does not change his spots.”

“Don’t let’s spoil Hermione’s night with all this dark talk,” Leonora said, linking her arm through Hermione’s. “I see champagne over there. Why don’t you gentlemen go fetch some for us.”

“Ahh, I see how it is,” Freddy said with a much put-upon sigh. “Now that we’re wed, you think you can just order me about.”

“Trent and I aren’t wed to her, but she’s ordering us about as well,” Mainwaring pointed out with a shrug. “I think she just wants us gone so that they can talk about lady things.”

And since none of the three ladies denied the accusation, the three men soon took themselves off to find the champagne tray.

“Are you sure you wish to be part of this club, dearest?” Leonora asked Hermione once the men had gone. “I know you are desperate for some place to show your skill with the reins. And I do most certainly think that you are any of these men’s equal, if not superior. But I cannot like it that you will be associating with Lord Payne. He was not particularly blameless in all that went on with the club when Freddy and I were involved.”

But Hermione had already made up her mind about the group. And though she too found Lord Payne troublesome, she had decided that until she saw evidence that the club was sliding back into its former bad habits, she would give them the benefit of the doubt.

“I know it’s difficult for you to understand,” she said aloud. “But I am doing this wish my eyes open. At the first sign of trouble, I will sever my ties, I promise. But until then, I would like the chance to determine whether a club like the Lords of Anarchy can give me what it is I’m looking for.”

“But what is it that you’re looking for?” Ophelia, who had remained silent until now, asked. “What do you want from them?”

“What every woman wants.” Hermione smiled sweetly. “To win.”

Thanks for keeping me company while I’m holding down the fort! Just for fun, tell me about your favorite romantic suspense series. It can be contemporary or historical or paranormal.  One commenter will win a digital ARC of Good Earl Gone Bad! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

contentHappy Thanksgiving! Today I’d like to share some silly and not so silly things those of us at Kiss and Thrill are thankful for.

Carey:

BillandElvisSilly: I’m thankful I’m not a turkey.

Serious and Silly: I’m thankful for my husband’s Elvis impersonation. I swear it made me fall in love with him. 

Serious: I’m thankful for my three incredible children and the beautiful world we live in.

Lena:

photoSerious: I’m thankful that my son and daughter will be home for the holiday.

Silly: I’m thankful that my son and daughter will be home for the holiday. (Seeing a trend?)

Krista:Rosie in my chair

The GirlsSilly: I’m grateful for Rosie who always keeps my favorite writing chair warm when I’m not sitting in it.

Serious: I’m grateful for my mom and sisters and all the laughter we share when we’re together.

 

 

 

Diana: 

Silly: I’m grateful for my DVR because it means I can take the time to talk to a friend or get interrupted by a family member and not worry about “missing” anything during my favorite show. The DVR puts me in control of TV, unchains me from the box, and means way less viewing time since it’s on my schedule, not theirs. Plus, fewer commercials. Yay!!Meissen+Figurine+Musee+Ariana (1)

Serious: I am grateful for my husband who is the love of my life, is always there for me, and thinks I’m great even when I’m not. What did I ever do to deserve him?

Rachel:

Silly: Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks for jotting down story inspirations while in the shower or tub.

matanuska glacierSerious: I’m thankful for all the wonderful people who fill my life and give it meaning, most especially, my husband, daughter, and son.

Gwen:

Gwen-ZoeSilly: I’m thankful to my golden retriever for forcing me to leave my home office a couple of times a day.

Serious: I’m grateful that I live where I can pursue my dreams and take that journey with the people I love most in this world.

Sarah:

Silly: I am thankful to Bonita Boarding and Kennel Camp for taking my little hooligans off my hands every morning.

704907FF-54A5-4030-8F6A-E32E8233DA9ESerious: I am thankful for the final safe return of my older brother, from 18 months in the US Embassy in Afghanistan. (In the picture he is holding Flat Stanley, some 3rd grade class drew and mailed it to him. Too cute!)

Manda: 

Silly: I’m thankful to Netflix and Hulu which kept me from losing my mind during my six weeks of mandatory IV antibiotic treatments.

Serious: I’m thankful for the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and researchers whose hard work cured the infection in my heart so that I can keep on writing the books I love.Old+fashioned+TV (1)

Runner-up:  I’m thankful to my wonderful friends (Lena, Carey, Rachel, Diana, Gwen, Krista, Sarah and Sharon) who also kept me from losing my mind during those six weeks.

Sharon:

IMG_3154Silly: I am grateful for my Canon digital camera which lets me catch my children and their friends in all sorts of situations. All for future bribery/blackmail use, of course.

Serious: I am grateful for my husband and two children who have brought me more happiness than I deserve.

All of us are so grateful for your recovery, Manda. We love you!

If anyone wants to share a silly or serious thing they’re thankful for today, we’d love to hear it.

Winners…We have Winners!

Thank you so much for coming out to celebrate the release of WHY LORDS LOSE THEIR HEARTS with me on Tuesday, you guys! This week our winner is: MAUREEN

Just click on the Contact Us link at the top of the page, and send me your snail mail addy, Maureen and I’ll send your book out first thing next week.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! And in the meantime, get yourselves ready because next week, we’re going to be spotlighting our very own Lena Diaz’s latest book TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP! Yay! Can’t wait for this one, folks. Can. Not. Wait!
takethekey

Why Do Lords Lose Their Hearts? Find out today!

GkUw090gCtcqEfaycQ02GU7T2n1MPsu6V7UNdKad_04Good morning all you happy people! Manda here, with the very exciting news that the third book in my Wicked Widows trilogy, WHY LORDS LOSE THEIR HEARTS, is released into the wild today! Squee, y’all!

This book features the final showdown between Perdita, the widowed Duchess of Ormond, and the mysterious assailant who has threatened over the course of the trilogy to tell the world just how the brutish Duke of Ormond met his end. In the process, Perdita will 1) Fight Evil, 2) Get Kidnapped, and 3) Fall in Love with Lord Archer Lisle. But not necessarily in that order! I’m thrilled that readers are finally getting the chance to read this story of love between friends, and I can’t wait to hear what you think about the conclusion to the mystery that’s beset our favorite widows over the course of the trilogy!

Here’s the rundown:

THE TRUTH COULD RUIN HER

Perdita, the widowed Duchess of Ormonde, keeps a dangerous secret—the truth of how her brutish husband died. But a mysterious avenger seems to know it, too, and when anonymous threats turn into public attacks, there’s only one friend she can turn to for help—her husband’s former secretary, Lord Archer Lisle. The man who witnessed her every heartache. The kind of man whose love she can only dream of …

WILL HIS LOVE SAVE HER

The youngest of the Duke of Pemberton’s five sons, Lord Archer Lisle is used to waiting his turn. For years, he could only stand by, seething, as Perdita suffered at the hands of her husband, but now she’s under threat from another source—one who will stop at nothing to make her pay for the late duke’s death. But the good-natured Archer can be dangerous when crossed—and he’ll do anything to keep the woman he’s adored for so long safe in his arms…

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY said “This sweet and sensuous novel has an undercurrent of mystery that will keep readers riveted.” And RT BOOK REVIEWS called it “sweet and chilling”–just what this author of romance mixed with thriller could wish!

My toughest critic, though, is Toast the cat, who (thankfully) gave it four paws up! Here she is after staying up all night. She couldn’t put it down! 20140728_175600

How do you like your romance? I’m guessing since you’re here at K&T, you like it with a side of mystery, but the perfect portion of each can be different for each person. What’s your perfect mix of romance and mystery? What makes you, the reader, lose your heart to a book? I’ll give a copy of WLLTH to one chatty commenter!

Karin Slaughter’s COP TOWN–An Appreciation

Cover, Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

COP TOWN–A fantastic read!

Here at Kiss and Thrill, we don’t do reviews per se. What we do are better called, to my mind, appreciations.

These are the books that strike a chord, that make us wish we’d written them ourselves, that leave us turning the last page with a happy sigh. Karin Slaughter’s latest, COP TOWN, is certainly worthy of all the appreciation I can muster.

Better known for her Grant County and Will Trent series, COP TOWN is a bit of a departure for Slaughter, in that it’s a stand alone novel set in 1975 Atlanta.

When I read her 2012 book, CRIMINAL, which jumped back and forth between the early 1970s and the present, I was sad to see her close that 70s storyline, not because I didn’t want more Will Trent, but because I was equally as drawn to the women breaking barriers as cops in the Atlanta PD forty years ago.

Cover, Criminal by Karin Slaughter

CRIMINAL–70s + Will Trent=Awesome!

Fortunately for me, Karin Slaughter was also eager to revisit the turbulent70s and thank goodness she was. Because COP TOWN is easily the best mystery/thriller I’ve read this year. Following two female patrol cops–one a rookie and the other the sister and niece of cops–COP TOWN explores not only crime and punishment in the era, but also gives a very authentic portrait of life in post-war, post integration, post women’s movement Atlanta. And it’s not a pretty picture.

Kate Murphy, the rookie, is the widow of a Vietnam soldier, who, tired of spending her days weeping, decides to make a change, and that means joining the Atlanta PD. And, as luck would have it, she ends up partnered with Maggie Lawson, whose Uncle Terry and brother Jimmy are both cops too, making Maggie less than thrilled to show newbie Kate the ropes.

What follows is a fast paced, exhilarating, and–yes–sexy tale that kept me turning the pages well into the night. But what will stick with me is the characterization.

I especially appreciated the nuanced portrait of Kate, which was careful not to portray her as a saintly widow, and didn’t hold back when describing the ups and downs of her marriage. One of the things I appreciate most about Slaughter is that she shows love in all it’s messy, complicated, sometimes cruel facets. I also loved watching Kate develop from a scared baby cop into a seasoned veteran in the space of a week. Because her trial was by fire, and darned if she didn’t come through it alive and kicking.

Whether you’re looking for a police procedural with a complex and edge of your seat mystery, or a character driven story about two very strong female characters coming into their own, you can’t go wrong with COP TOWN. The PR materials say it’s a stand alone, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that Karin Slaughter will make this one an ongoing series. There’s a bit of a romance thread in this one and it’s one of the things that didn’t get tied up. But I’ve got my fingers crossed so here’s hoping!

Why not? She granted my wish the last time, right?

What have you read lately that knocked your socks off? I’ll give one lucky commenter an ARC (electronic or print, your choice) of my upcoming WHY LORDS LOSE THEIR HEARTS which Romantic Times just called, “chilling and sweet”!

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