Welcome to What to Read Wednesday! Today we have a special treat because we are featuring three Avon historical romances and a fabulous guest post by one of authors. There’s also a wonderful giveaway…so don’t forget to enter at the end of the post for your chance to win.
So…without any further chit chat from me…take it away Gayle Callen!
By Gayle Callen
“The Younger Sons”
Now if you read historical romances at all, you’ll probably recognize the title up above. In the world of English aristocracy, only the oldest son can inherit the title, and the homes/property entailed with it (entailed means it has to pass to the older son, and cannot be sold off or given to anyone other than the heir). The hero of my new release, REDEMPTION OF THE DUKE, is not only a younger son, he’s the youngest of three. Now I can hear you thinking, “But wait—how does he become a duke?” Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
Younger sons don’t have a lot of choices. Sometimes they were lucky enough to be wealthy in their own right, especially if their parents had other properties to deed to them, or they inherited their elderly spinster aunt’s estate. But that didn’t often happen. Usually younger sons lived off whatever allowance the titled member of the family gave them. And sometimes that was very little indeed. Now it’s not as if a gentleman can just go become a clerk—he’d lose the respect of his peers and his place in Society. So if a younger son couldn’t live off his allowance (and maybe he’d rather be productive with his time anyway), he could either go into the church or into the military. Let’s face it, it’s not often we have our fictional heroes go into the church. Nothing against the church—we just seem to prefer soldiers to vicars when we read. Not that it can’t be done, and done well, by the right author. But I went with soldiers.
So my future duke Adam, the third son, who’d finally realized that his rakish ways had to end if he was ever going to support himself, asked his father to buy him a commission. That was how gentleman became officers—they had to buy the privilege. Luckily, that’s changed over the years. 😉 But anyway, his father refused his request. Adam was the child of a second marriage, and his two older brothers, jealous of both him and his mother, poisoned their father against him. To prove a point, Adam was even more scandalous, until at last his father relented. A new world opened up for him in the army, where a man was judged for his honorable deeds, rather than his ancestry or wealth. For the first time in his life he had something meaningful to accomplish.
And then it all went to hell. His father and two brothers died of a fever, leaving Adam unprepared to be the duke. And the war itself changed him…If you want to find out what happened to Adam and his fellow soldiers, I hope you’ll give REDEMPTION OF THE DUKE a try!
So which do you prefer in your stories: vicars or soldiers?
Blurb (It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden)
The second book in a deliciously sexy new series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book–Fifty Shades of Grey for the Regency era– has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.
Sometimes it takes a scandal . . .
Abigail Weston has everything: beauty, wit, and one of the largest dowries in England. Her parents hope she’ll wed an earl. Abigail hopes for a man who wants her desperately and passionately. But the money seems to blind every man she meets-except one.
Sebastian Vane has nothing. He came home from war with a shattered leg to find his father mad and his inheritance gone. He’s not a fit suitor for anyone, let alone an heiress. But Abigail lights up his world like a comet, bright and beautiful and able to see him instead of his ruined reputation. And it might end happily ever after . . .
To reveal your heart’s desire
Until Benedict Lennox begins courting Abigail. Ben is everything Sebastian isn’t-wealthy, charming, heir to an earl. Sebastian won’t give up the only girl he’s ever loved without a fight, but Abigail must choose between the penniless gentleman who moves her heart, and the suitor who is everything her parents want.
Blurb (How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Cuhrke)
From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience…and the chance for love to last a lifetime
They had a deal…
From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she’s delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.
But deals are made to be broken…
By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family’s enormous debts, and Edie’s terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it’s time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?
A duke who needs to be tamed…a lady who refuses to be rescued.
Adam Chamberlin was the third son of a duke, known for gambling binges and drunken nights. No one expected anything of him …until tragedy strikes. Now Adam is the new Duke of Rothford, determined to right the wrongs he’s done. Except a secret in his past means helping the one woman who doesn’t want his help at all…
It’s not every day that a duke introduces himself to a woman sitting by herself in Hyde Park. Faith Cooper is even more surprised when Adam offers her a position as a lady’s companion to his elderly aunt. Faith refuses to be beholden to a man again-certainly not this man, who both infuriates and attracts her. But with the simmering passion between them, will Faith surrender to forbidden desire?
Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at http://www.carolinelinden.com
Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Laura has penned over twenty historical romances. Her books have received many award nominations, and she is the recipient of romance fiction’s highest honor: the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. She lives in the Northwest with her husband (or, as she calls him, her very own romance hero), along with two diva cats and a Golden Retriever happy to be their slave. Laura loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her via her website: http://www.lauraleeguhrke.com.
After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than eighteen historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion and the Laurel Wreath Award.
Gayle lives in Central New York with her three children, her dog, Apollo, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero.
Visit her website at http://www.gaylecallen.com.
*Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway of Three Prize Packs including a piece of Custom Jewelry and Print Copies of Romances from each author.*