Rakes Rogues and Romance

Historical Romance-Because Passion Lives Forever


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Liza O’Connor’s The Troublesome Apprentice is Here

 

 

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Today, I have Xavier Thorn, the renowned Late Victorian Sleuth. Despite his reputation for having no patience, I’m planning to ask him tough questions.

Welcome to my blog. Xavier. xnv_X smkg pipe with bow tie

Xavier: Just to set matters straight, I have great patience as long as you don’t ask the same question twice, ask me ridiculous questions, or stutter in fright. If you do any of those, I will react accordingly.

Nancy: All right, now with the niceties set aside, let’s begin. I understand when you first met and fell in love with your apprentice Victor Hamilton, you believed she was male.

Xavier: As would have anyone! She makes a most convincing male, with her short hair, her flat chest, her straight waist, the hint male of accoutrements beneath her pants, and her pleasantly low voice. In addition, she carried herself with a high level of confidence and bravado only found in young men. Women are taught early on to be meek and demure. Plus, I knew her aunt who had always referred to Vic as her nephew. So no. Since I had yet to see her naked, I did not have any clue that she was female.

Nancy: And yet, you fell in love with Vic, even before you knew her true sex.

Xavier: That is true. I fell in love with Victor Hamilton. Her gender was irrelevant to me.

Nancy: Personally, I’ve no issues with that, but you lived in the Victorian era. Didn’t you felt unease at this turn of events?

Xavier: None whatsoever. I met Vic during the decade called the “Decadent nineties’. It was an era of change, inventions, and challenging the status quo. A decade where intelligent people sought the difference between right and wrong from Logic, not the Church of England. It was a time when homosexuality spread wide amongst the intelligentsia; a time when men chose to publically flaunt their love for each other in clubs and saloons that catered to their needs.

Nancy: What was your prior preference before meeting Vic?

Xavier: When I was a young man, I fell in love with a lady who chose to marry another. To escape my disappointment, I threw myself into my work and never had an interest in either gender until the day I met Victor Hamilton. He captivated me in less time than it took to solve the mystery of his aunt’s death.

*Xavier leaned forward* I did not care about his gender. I was only certain he was special, and that he’d awakened my dormant heart. Later, I discovered he was actually a she, but I tell you without shame or hesitation, his gender never mattered. I fell in love with the person, not the body.

Nancy: Wasn’t this the decade that Oscar Wilde was thrown into prison for being a homosexual?

Xavier: The attempts of parliament to stop a behavior the Queen and the Church of England disapproved of only pushed men such as Oscar Wilde to flaunt his preferences more so. However, Oscar wasn’t arrested until 1896, and he only went to prison because he foolishly took his lover’s father to court to sue the man for slander for calling him a ‘poser’ by which he meant a homosexual. The father, to prove he had not slandered Oscar, had only to prove Oscar was a homosexual. This was an easy task since the author had flaunted his preferences openly for more than a decade. Having proved Oscar was indeed ‘a poser’ the court eventually had no choice but to send him to prison.

However, I met Vic in 1893, and while new stricter laws had been passed in1885, among the intelligentsia, few believed they would actually be enforced. And generally, that was true.

Nancy: Were you happy, when you discovered Vic was female?

Xavier: I was relieved to finally discover what stood between us. But to be honest, instead of risking being jailed, she is in danger of being put into Bedlam if anyone discovers her true gender. But if that ever happens, I will break her out of Bedlam before a single hour has passed. Words cannot express how much my troublesome pup means to me. She is the center of my world now.

Nancy: Well, I’m glad to hear that. Let’s find out more about your story…

 

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The Adventures of

Xavier & Vic

Book 1

The Troublesome Apprentice

By Liza O’Connor

Cases to be Resolved:

The Key to Aunt Maddy’s Death

The Missing Husband of Mrs. Wimple

The Disappearing Scarlet Nun

The Clever Butcher’s Wife

The Rescue of Lady Anne

 

blurb

While investigating the death of a friend and client, Maddy Hamilton, Xavier Thorn (reputed to be the greatest sleuth in England) is greatly impressed with Maddy’s nephew, Victor, and offers him a job as his secretary. Aware of Xavier’s history of firing secretaries, Victor garners a promise that for three months he cannot be fired. Vic then proceeds, in Xavier’s view, to be cheeky and impertinent at every turn. Xavier endures the impudent pup because Victor is most skilled in extracting the truth from clients and intuiting facts with little evidence to assist.

As they solve a string of cases, Xavier discovers a few more important details about his troublesome apprentice, such as her true gender, and the realization that she has awakened his long dormant heart.

An Excerpt

Xavier held his pen, poised to write a second note. Perhaps he should retrieve Victor in person. No, he must wait. The young man would come or he would not.

Since returning to his office, he had spent considerable thought on his feelings towards Victor. The combination of the boy’s brilliant young mind with Maddy’s eyes and character had brought his stone-dead passion to life. He had never experienced such intense sexual stirrings before, and certainly never for a young man.

This sudden hardening of his manhood at the mere thought of the fellow was most distracting, and frankly unwanted, at least on his part. What Victor thought or wanted, he had no idea. However, since the young man refused to come to work, even when summoned, Xavier surmised he had not been comfortable with the length of time he’d been held last night.

Xavier cursed and threw his inkwell at the door. Unfortunately, the door opened at the same exact moment and the glass bottle slammed into Victor’s stomach, covering him in India ink.

“Damn it, Victor, knock before you enter,” Xavier cursed as he rose and approached the boy. “You are covered with ink,” he complained.

The fault is entirely yours, but we will make no more of it. Just remember to knock in the future.”

“I daresay I’ll not forget for a very long time,” Victor growled.

“Excellent attitude,” Xavier declared with excessive cheeriness. He ceased smiling as the young man continued to glare at him. “I hope you have not come to hand me your resignation because I will not take it. You have committed to remain three months, and I will hold you to it. And why are you so damnably late today?”

“Because I was sleeping and Gregory did not give me your note until I woke a half hour ago.”

“A fine excuse if masters customarily wrote notes ordering their people to work and, without such a note, the people were not meant to come.”

“Given last night, it had not occurred to me…never mind. You are right, I am completely in the wrong, and I apologize. I will be here at the crack of dawn each morning.”

Xavier relaxed. “Good enough.” He returned to his desk. “About the embrace last night…it was a one-time event.” He watched Vic’s expression and thought he caught a moment of regret before acceptance and relief took over.

Victor nodded. “I understand. You showed me a moment of kindness and I show up eight hours late for work. However, surely throwing an inkwell at me and ruining my best suit somewhat balances matters.”

“I did not throw the inkwell at you, but I am in agreement all should be forgotten and we will proceed from here. First of all, you need clean clothes. I doubt my clothes will fit you.”

The boy gave Xavier’s lean but muscular body a quick study, blushed, and agreed they would not.

The tightening of his loins caused by Vic’s perusal of his person unsettled him. “Well, you cannot remain as you are. You will make a mess as you dig your way through a mountain of paperwork. Go to the kitchen and find something to solve your problem. I expect you back here in ten minutes, ready to work, not a second later.”

lINKS

The Troublesome Apprentice

AMAZON

 

About the author

 

I’m tired of telling my proper bio. So you get the improper bio.

Liza O’Connor was raised by feral cats, which explains a great deal, such as why she has no manners, is always getting in trouble, and doesn’t behave like a proper author and give you a proper bio.

She is highly unpredictable, both in real life and her stories, and presently is writing humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)

Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)

Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.

Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.

Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.

Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

Social Networking

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR, XAVIER & VIC:

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Prior Tour Sites

 

Don’t forget to enter to win one of the two $25 Amazon Gift Cards.

Enter Rafflecopter


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RELEASE DAY: LADY TRIUMPHS BY RENEE BERNARD

NancyS.Goodman:

Renee Bernard has the final act in her Black Rose Trilogy out!

Originally posted on Rakes And Rascals:

(Black Rose Trilogy, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

LADY TRIUMPHS is the third book and grand finale in the unforgettable Black Rose Trilogy and does not disappoint for chills and thrills as Lady Serena Wellcott (formerly known as Raven Wells) at last turns her attention to settling an old score with the Earl of Trent, Geoffrey Parke.

With Phillip Warrick at her back and the lovers reconciled, it will still take every resource and wicked skill she has acquired to destroy the man who was once her trusted guardian. Lord Trent is no ordinary foe but Lady Wellcott has never shied away from a challenge and what’s a bit of revenge between old friends?

From the glittering ballrooms of London to the shadowed servants’ passages of the ton’s grand homes, the Black Rose will weave a seductive spell until no one is safe. Phillip’s loyalty is tested to…

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Why Must We Limit Ourselves?

NancyS.Goodman:

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I’m loving this post today. Why? Because it speaks to the heart of what I hear and see when I tell people I’ve started writing gay romance. They giggle, or type LOL, give me the winky emoji and give me “oh, wow.” and then never mention the subject again. I will admit to not reading in other genres, simply because I had a preconceived notion of what I thought it was. I didn’t read vampires until I was told about JR Ward and now I love her and Sara Humphreys, I didn’t read Civil War romance until Cindy Nord and I honestly, I don’t know how I picked up Male/Male romance but I did and I was swept away by the romance I discovered in the pages.
So much so , that I wrote my own, Rescued, under the name Felice Stevens, which is coming out August 19th, from Loose Id.
For another viewpoint from Susanna Kearsley, on celebrating ALL Romance, you might want to check out her article here:

http://www.readaromancemonth.com/2014/08/day-3-susanna-kearsley-celebrating-all-romance/

We, as romance writers suffer enough snobbery, eye-rolling and isolation from outside the genre. it’s nice to know we all have each other’s backs.
Have a happy!!

Originally posted on :

I know romance is everyone’s dirty little secret. I see it when I’m doing book signings at book stores where if you ask patrons “do you read romance?” They shudder in shame and come up with a respectable genre like mystery or sci-fi or non-fiction war books. I did that at one time. For a long time I wouldn’t read female writers because of the books I came across.

But I have a dirty little secret for all of you… promise not to tell? They all have romance in them. Now they may not have a happily ever after, but every book has a touch of romance. Even thrillers, horror and contemporary fiction. Every genre has romance. Romance has the largest gross profit of all genres, so someone’s reading it.

Do I read romance? Yes, but I don’t limit myself to only romance. Or worse yet only interracial romance with…

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PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: DEVIL TO PAY BY RENEE BERNARD

NancyS.Goodman:

As you all know, I love Renee Bernard and her books. I will post my own review, but wanted to feature Carol’s because it says perfectly, everything I loved about this book. And just as an aside, I love Luke. And Malcolm..

Originally posted on Rakes And Rascals:


(Eternity Gambit, #1)

Genre: Romantic Comedy with Paranormal Elements

Cover Blurb

Being the Devil is a job no one wants. The hours are terrible, the workload unbelievable and frankly, customer service is a nightmare. You’re blamed for everything and liability is no joke when you’re the Lord of Darkness. As a result, turnover for the position is fairly high. The current Lucifer is the seventh lucky one to lose the ultimate lottery and land the title.

Truthfully, there’s very little evil to be instigated.  Free will and a bad history of twisted mythology takes care of all of it–so the guy behind the black onyx desk is generally just the unhappy Archangel left filling out paperwork and doing his best to keep the Big Boss happy. And for Lucifer, forget about dating.  It’s a long, dry run, unless you’re into the women that might be into you–and frankly, the current Lucifer isn’t too turned on by ladies wearing spider web stockings and…

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CRAZY FOR HER Release Day! ~ Sandra Owens

NancyS.Goodman:

We have a big surprise and it couldn’t wait!! Release Day for Crazy For Her, is Sandra Owens Debut Romantic Suspense. The only thing I can say is WOW!! This is a romance with a sexy hero, a heroine who is brave and smart and the passion sizzles off the page! And the plots twists? CRAZY!!!
One click your way to a hot steamy and sexy mystery and fall in love with Logan and Dani. I loved their story and I know you will as well Definitely a six star read!

Originally posted on Embracing Romance:

Crazy For Her Back Cover Quote 1

Is there room in one man’s heart for a warrior’s loyalty and a lover’s passion?

CRAZY FOR HER is here! 

Although the official release date is September 1st, my publisher, Montlake Romance, chose CRAZY FOR HER as one of four titles for the August Kindle First. What this means is, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get it free, and if you’re not, you can buy it on sale for $1.99 throughout the month of August. On September 1st, the book will go to its regular price, and the print and audio will also be available.

I’m so excited about this. It feels like getting an early Christmas present, so let’s unwrap this baby and peek inside.

Crazy For Her Cover When his best friend and fellow Navy SEAL, Evan Prescott, died in his arms on the battlefield, Logan Kincaid gave his word to watch over Evan’s widow. But for two…

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ADDICTED TO HISTORY?

NancyS.Goodman:

Just cause I’m writing a different kind of romance for now, doesn’t mean I still don’t love my historicals. I can never give up on my Dukes, Marquesses and Earls….keep your eyes out. they may show up just when you least expect them to. Excellent post by Barbara Monajem!

Originally posted on Embracing Romance:

Why historical romance?

What got me interested in writing historical romance was reading history – mostly historical novels, some of which were romances and some weren’t. It started out with children’s books, especially those written for older children or young adults. Eagle of the Ninth single

One of my much-loved authors during childhood was Rosemary Sutcliff. Some favorite books by Sutcliff were The Eagle of the Ninth (the movie The Eagle, which came out in 2011, was based on this book), The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers. These stories all take place in Roman Britain. I adore these books. They bring those long ago times to vivid life.

Another favorite children’s book–which I read as an adult–is The Ramsay Scallop by Frances Temple. It takes place in the late 13th century during a pilgrimage, and is about a young betrothed couple getting to know and appreciate one another. It’s a…

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Lady Rises! The Second in Renee Bernard’s BLack Rose Trilogy is Out

 

 

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“Marvelously daring, welcome to a sensual world that will test not only your mind but your heart.” – Delilah Marvelle, Award Winning Author

 

               “Delicious! A fabulous story that draws you in from the very first word and stays with you long after the finish. -“Máire Claremont, Award Winning Author

 

LADY RISES serves up the next relentless installment in the Black Rose Trilogy and leaves no doubt that Hell hath no fury like a woman wronged but when that woman is Raven Wells—the Devil himself would rather keep out of her way.

 

From the ashes of LADY FALLS, Raven Wells is transformed into Lady Serena Wellcott. Now with wealth and power all her own, she is the founder of the Black Rose—a secret society dedicated to securing justice for women who have been abused or wronged in the private corridors of Victorian society. She has dedicated her life to revenge, honing her skills at the bequest of others but biding her time until she has the two men she loathes most in this world in her sights.

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Sir Phillip Warrick has scars of his own from their fateful encounter years before and his heart has never healed from the loss of his beautiful Raven and the irrevocable mistake of brutally ending their affair. But when he found no trace of her, he let himself believe that she was dead. Except Phillip isn’t that lucky. When he is introduced to Lady Serena Wellcott at his cousin’s country home, his world begins to implode. Because once again he has a tigress by the tail, except this time, it’s a dangerous mix of passion and poison when it becomes clear that what the lady wants most is his head on a platter. If only he didn’t still love her with every fiber of his being…

 

In a dance of desire, Serena has her own struggles reconciling the man she once loved with the irresistible rake she has vowed to hate. Vengeance is its own mistress and it’s a race to the finish as the Black Rose takes on a quest to carve out justice and find mercy even where it’s been forgotten. Love may rule but Lady Serena Wellcott doesn’t believe in playing fairly and she also doesn’t believe in surrender.

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From acclaimed USA Today bestselling author, Renee Bernard, comes a new trilogy of gothic power and twisted sensuality. Here’s a slice of historical romance not generally found in the mainstream—so pull up a chair, settle in for a good read and hang on!

 

 

 

 

 

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Renee Bernard is an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance and recently, contemporary romantic comedy. She won RT’s Reviewer’s Choice award for “Best Debut Historical” in 2006 and never slowed down (she missed the memo). By the end of 2014, she will have fifteen books out there in the world. She has published with Simon & Schuster and Berkley as well as branching out into independent publishing, audio books and comic books. For over four years she has been the host of “The Romance Bookmark” (formerly “Canned Laughter and Coffee”), a weekly internet radio show with between 80-100K registered listeners via Readers Entertainment. From wine wrangling to stand-up comedy and public speaking, there’s nothing off the table. (No really. Nothing. Except anything involving a pole. She’s past that now.)

Renee lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains with her husband and daughters, and an adequate number of cats to qualify as a romance writer.

 

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